Commodities: An 'up-and-down' week for pizza stocks, commodities

| by S.A. Whitehead
Commodities: An 'up-and-down' week for pizza stocks, commodities

Last week's commodities and brand trading results formed a hilly path of ups and downs across the board, with an even split of higher and lower prices for both commodities and shares.

A one-day plunge in prices for this commodity last Wednesday of 16 cents, to $1.48, may have been harrowing for cheese producers, but ultimately proved to be only momentary. By Thursday's close, the prices rebounded 14 cents to $1.62 and then fell about a penny to close the week at $1.61, up a penny from the previous Friday's close. 

Compared to last week, cash bids for wheat ranged 9 1/4 to 53 1/4 cents higher last week. USDA said last week's export sales and shipments of wheat totaled 4.4 mb and 16 mb respectively, another bearish combination for the week. Total wheat shipments are now down 10 percent from a year ago and are making no dent in the heavy load of old-crop winter wheat supplies. 

Kansas City U.S. No. 1 Hard Red Winter, ordinary protein rail bid was 23 cents higher, from $5.91 1/2-$6.06 1/2 per bushel. Kansas City U.S. No. 2 Soft Red winter rail bid was not quoted. St. Louis truck U.S. No. 2 Soft Red Winter terminal bid was 17 cents higher, from $4.76-$4.93 per bushel. 

Minneapolis and Duluth U.S. No. 1 Dark Northern Spring, 14.0 to 14.5 percent protein rail, was 33 1/4 to 53 1/4 cents higher at $7.68 per bushel. Portland U.S. Soft White wheat rail was 9 1/4 to 42 cents higher from $5.82-$5.91 per bushel. 

Vehicle fuel

Natural gas
Natural gas spot prices fell at most locations for the seven days ending Wednesday, April 11. The Henry Hub spot price fell from $2.77 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) to $2.69/MMBtu over the same period. At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the May 2018 contract price fell 4 cents, from $2.718/MMBtu to $2.675/MMBtu.

Net withdrawals from working gas totaled 19 billion cubic feet (Bcf) on April 6. Working natural gas stocks are 1,335 Bcf, which is 35 percent lower than the year-ago level and 22 percent lower than the five-year (2013-17) average for the week.

The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, fell by 1 cent, averaging $7.23/MMBtu for the period ending April 11. The price of propane fell by 3 percent. The price of natural gasoline and butane rose by 2 percent, and the price of ethane and isobutane rose by 1 percent.

According to Baker Hughes, on April 3 the natural gas rig count remained flat for the week at 194. The number of oil-directed rigs rose by 11 to 808. The total rig count increased by 10, and it now stands at 1,003. This report 

Pizza company stocks
In stock market activity last week, the winners proved to be Yum Brands and Papa Murphy's, both of which saw upticks in value over the week. Domino's, however, dipped slightly in value falling from $231.46 to $230.32 over the course of the trading week. Papa John's also lost value among traders, falling from $62.12 at the close Friday, April 6, to $61.05 at the close April 13. 

YUM Brands took a few steps up over the trading week, closing Friday at $85.42, up 96 cents from the previous Friday's close of $84.46. Meanwhile, Papa Murphy's traded up 4 cents over the course of the week's stock market activity, closing Friday at $5.05. 

Photo: iStock

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Catering, Delivery, Dough, Financial Management, Operations Management

S.A. Whitehead

Award-winning veteran print and broadcast journalist, Shelly Whitehead, has spent most of the last 30 years reporting for TV and newspapers, including the former Kentucky and Cincinnati Post and a number of network news affiliates nationally. She brings her cumulative experience as a multimedia storyteller and video producer to the web-based pages of and after a lifelong “love affair” with reporting the stories behind the businesses that make our world go ‘round. Ms. Whitehead is driven to find and share news of the many professional passions people take to work with them every day in the pizza and quick-service restaurant industry. She is particularly interested in the growing role of sustainable agriculture and nutrition in food service worldwide and is always ready to move on great story ideas and news tips.

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