Commodities: Pizza stocks take another 'not-too-cool' pre-summer dip

| by S.A. Whitehead
Commodities: Pizza stocks take another 'not-too-cool' pre-summer dip

Last week was yet another disappointing one for pizza brancs on the stock exchanges, with many continuing to lose value in the markets. Commodity trading was slightly more upbeat with the cost of everything but wheat falling over the course of the week. 

The price of cheese ended the week down a few cents, but has remained relatively stable over the last two weeks at $1.63. On Friday, the price dropped a penny to end the week at $1.62. 

Compared with the previous week, wheat was mostly higher as strong commercial buying returned on the Minneapolis spring wheat market. Weekly export sales for all wheat were neutral and showed a total of 13.7 mb (373,400 mt) for the 2017–2018 marketing year.  

Kansas City U.S. No. 1 hard red winter wheat, ordinary protein rail bid was 17.5 to 57.5 cents higher from $4.66 and one-quarter to $6.21 and one-quarter per bushel. The Kansas City U.S. No. 2 soft red winter rail bid was not quoted. The St. Louis truck U.S. No. 2 soft red winter terminal bid was up 6 to 9 cents higher from $4.63 to $4.73 per bushel.  

Minneapolis and Duluth U.S. No. 1 dark northern spring wheat, 14.0 to 14.5 percent protein, rail was 33 and one-quarter to 48 and one-quarter cents higher, from $7.52 and one-half to $7.57 and one-half per bushel.  Portland U.S. soft white wheat rail was 3 and one-quarter cents lower to 1 and one-half cents higher from $4.70 and three-quarters to $4.91 per bushel.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

                                    Regular      Mid-grade    Premium     Diesel
Current average           $2.293        $2.594           $2.839        $2.474
Week-ago average       $2.336        $2.628           $2.873        $2.493
Month-ago average      $2.346        $2.625           $2.870        $2.499
Year-ago average         $2.336        $2.593           $2.824        $2.374

Natural gas
Natural gas spot prices fell at most locations for the report week of June 7–14. The Henry Hub spot price fell from $2.99 per MMBtu on June 7 to $2.90 per MMBtu on June 14. At the New York Mercantile Exchange, the July 2017 contract price fell 9 cents from $3.020 MMBtu on June 7 to $2.933 per MMBtu on June 14.

Net injections to working gas totaled 78 Bcf for the week ending June 9. Working natural gas stocks are 2,709 Bcf, which is 11 percent less than the year-ago level and 9 percent more than the five-year (2012–2016) average for the week. The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, fell 8 cents, averaging $5.74 MMBtu for the week ending June 14. The price of natural gasoline, propane, butane, and isobutane fell 4, 3, 1, and 1 percent, respectively. The price of ethane rose 4 percent.

According to Baker Hughes, for the week ending June 9, the natural gas rig count increased by three to 185. The number of oil-directed rigs rose by eight to 741. The total rig count increased by 11 and now stands at 927.

Pizza company stocks
With the official start of summer this week, pizza stocks took another "dip," albeit not such a cool one. Of the four brands monitored by pizzamarketplace weekly, only Domino's showed an improvement over the last week, ending at $210.84, up from $206.05 the previous trading week. 

For all other brands monitored by this site, it was week No. 2 of bad news. Pizza Hut parent Yum brands fell to $72.78, down 32 cents from the prior week's close of $73.10. Fellow Louisville-based brand Papa John's dipped even deeper last week to close at $78.66, down 75 cents from the previous week's finish. 

Finally, take-and-bake bran Pdapa Murphy's suffered a drop of 34 cents from the prior week to close Friday at $4.07. 

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Financial Management, Financial News

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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