Commodities: Holiday makes for a mild mid-summer trading week

| by S.A. Whitehead
Commodities: Holiday makes for a mild mid-summer trading week

It was a relatively uneventful week in commodity and pizza stock trading with only moderate gains or losses on either front, suggesting a lot of traders like to build summer vacations around the long Independence Day holiday, too. 


There was a slight uptick in cheese prices during the shorter holiday week. Overall last week, cheese prices gained about 2 cents to end Friday at $1.55, up from the previous Friday's price of $1.53, but still substantially below the $1.74 price average paid just a little more than a month ago. 


Winter wheat's uptrend is ending, according to the U.S.D.A., with weekly export sales for all wheat viewed as neutral, with a total of 13.8 mb (375,300 mt) for the 2017–2018 marketing year.  

Kansas City U.S. No. 1 hard red winter, ordinary protein rail bid was 46 to 70 cents higher from $5.53 1/2–$6.56 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 49 to 56 cents higher from $5.43–$5.44 per bushel. Minneapolis and Duluth U.S. No. 1 dark northern spring, 14 to 14.5 percent protein rail, was 19 1/2 to 29 1/2 cents higher at $8.59–$8.89 per bushel. Portland U.S. soft white wheat rail was 32 3/4 to 34 cents higher, at $5.39–$5.58 per bushel. 

Gasoline and diesel fuel

                          Regular       Mid-grade      Premium      Diesel

Current Avg.      $2.263        $2.560            $2.805          $2.445

Yesterday Avg.  $2.263        $2.557            $2.801          $2.446

Week Ago Avg. $2.234         $2.540           $2.786           $2.441

Month Ago Avg. $2.344         $2.632          $2.878           $2.498

Year Ago Avg.    $2.238         $2.506          $2.744           $2.366

Natural gas

Natural gas spot prices fell at most locations this report week (Wednesday, June 28, to Wednesday, July 5). The Henry Hub spot price fell from $3.01 per million British thermal units last Wednesday to $2.90/MMBtu yesterday. 

At the New York Mercantile Exchange, the July 2017 contract expired last Wednesday at $3.067/MMBtu. The August 2017 contract price decreased to $2.840/MMBtu yesterday, down 25 cents Wednesday to Wednesday. 

Net injections to working gas totaled 72 billion cubic feet for the week ending June 30, 2017. Working natural gas stocks reached 2,888 Bcf, 9 percent less than the year-ago level and 7 percent more than the five-year (2012-16) average for the week. 

The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, rose by 25 cents, averaging $5.80/MMBtu for the week ending July 5. The price of natural gasoline, ethane, propane, butane, and isobutane all rose, by 6, 2, 4, 7 and 7 percent, respectively.

Pizza company stocks 

The four pizza stocks monitored by Pizzamarketplace moved in different directions over the course of the shortened trading week, with two up and two down from the previous week. 

Domino's Pizza increased its price from $211.52 the previous Friday to $212.32 July 7 at the close. Papa John's also ended the trading week on an "up" note,  gaining nearly $1 in value, rising from $71.74 on June 30 to $72.61 on July 7. 

The week was less profitable for Pizza Hut parent Yum Brands whose trading price fell from $73.78 on June 30 to $73.49 July 7. Take-and-bake chain, Papa Murphy's suffered a similarly "off" week, dropping in price from $4.37 on Friday, June 30, to $4.21 on Friday, July 7.



Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Cheese, Dough, Financial Management, Financial News, Food Cost 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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