Commodities: Stock traders, gas producers take toll on pizza brands last week

| by S.A. Whitehead
Commodities: Stock traders, gas producers take toll on pizza brands last week

Food commodity prices last week dropped in trading, but increasing prices on all types of fuel, including natural gas more than made up for any potential gains their for pizza restaurateurs. Traders didn't show much love for pizza brands last week either on the stock market, with all but one of the brands monitored by this site losing value over the week. 

Cheese prices took a tumble last week, falling to their lowest level since early April to close Friday at $1.58, down 5 cents from the previous week's close. 

Wheat prices also dropped last week. The USDA said that wheat sales were split, with 2.3 million bu old crop and 4.8 million bu new crop. That's in line with estimates, but short of the needed amounts.  

Kansas City U.S. No. 1 Hard Red Winter, ordinary protein rail bid was 2 cents lower, from $6.06-$6.21 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 9 cents lower, from $4.83-$5.04 per bushel.  Minneapolis and Duluth U.S. No. 1 Dark Northern Spring, 14.0 to 14.5 percent protein rail, was 4 1/4 to 19 1/4 cents lower, from $7.49 3/4-$7.64 3/4 per bushel.  

Portland U.S. Soft White wheat rail was steady to 9 1/2 cents lower, from $5.75-$5.90 1/2 per bushel.

Vehicle fuel

Natural gas
At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the June 2018 contract price rose 8 cents, from $2.737/MMBtu on Wednesday, May 9 to $2.815/MMBtu the following Wednesday, May 16.

Net injections to working gas totaled 106 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending May 11. Working natural gas stocks are 1,538 Bcf, which is 35 percent lower than the year-ago level and 25 percent lower than the five-year (2013-17) average for this week.

The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, rose by 25 cents, averaging $8.24/MMBtu for the 7-day period ending May 16. The price of ethane fell by 3 percent, while the prices of natural gasoline, propane, butane, and isobutane rose by 1, 2, 4 and 18 percent, respectively.

According to Baker Hughes, for the seven days ending Tuesday, May 8, the natural gas rig count increased by three to 199. The number of oil-directed rigs rose by 10 to 844. The total rig count increased by 13, and it now stands at 1,045. 

Pizza company stocks
It was a loss week for all the brands monitored by this site on the markets last week, except for Papa Murphy's, which managed to gain 19 cents over the week on the NASDAQ, to close Friday at $5.69. 

The same good news bypassed Domino's, Pizza Hut parent, Yum Brands and much beleaguered Papa John's, which again dropped in price, this time $1.97 over the week to close Friday at $50.89. 

Finally, even "on-a-roll" Domino's got bumped down last week on the NYSE, where the brand lost $4.67 in value over the trading week to close Friday at $244.86.

Photo: iStock

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Cheese, Delivery, Dough, 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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