Commodities: Ups, downs and everything in between last week

| by S.A. Whitehead
Commodities: Ups, downs and everything in between last week

On the commodities market last week, prices were a grab-bag of variations, highly dependent on the location of the purchase and variety of the commodity. It’s safe to say, however, that in the case of auto fuel, the trend is definitely upward.  


Cheese prices gained about 4 cents in value over the week, rising from $1.70 on Aug. 4, to $1.74 last Friday in trading nationally. 


Wheat trading was 17 cents lower to 35 cents higher on the week. Kansas City U.S. No. 1 Hard Red Winter, ordinary protein rail bid was 9 1/2 to 11 1/2 cents lower from $4.55 1/4 to $5.25 1/4 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 16 to 17 cents lower from $4.41 to $4.45 per bushel.  

Minneapolis and Duluth U.S. No. 1 Dark Northern Spring, 14 to 14.5 percent protein rail, was 34 cents lower to 35 cents higher from $7.78 1/4 to $7.83 1/4 per bushel. Portland U.S. Soft White wheat rail was 17 3/4 to 33 cents higher from $5.15 1/2 to $5.60 per bushel.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

                  Regular        Mid-grade       Premium       Diesel

Current Avg.      $2.353         $2.631           $2.876        $2.528

Yesterday Avg.    $2.354         $2.631           $2.877        $2.527

Week Ago Avg.     $2.347         $2.621           $2.867        $2.512

Month Ago Avg.    $2.255         $2.549           $2.795        $2.444

Year Ago Avg.     $2.125         $2.399           $2.637        $2.293


Natural gas

Natural gas spot price movements were mixed this report week (Wednesday, Aug. 2 to Wednesday, Aug. 9). The Henry Hub spot price rose from $2.77 per million British thermal units  last Wednesday to $2.85 per MMBtu yesterday. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the September 2017 contract price rose 7 cents from $2.811 per MMBtu last Wednesday to $2.883 per MMBtu yesterday.

Temperatures moderated slightly across the country this report week, averaging below seasonal norms almost everywhere except the Pacific Coast. The week’s smaller price movements may be partly a reflection of weather forecasts, rather than temperatures for the week.

Net injections to working gas totaled 28 billion cubic feet for the week ending Aug. 4. Working natural gas stocks are 3,038 Bcf, which is 8 percent less than the year-ago level and 2 percent more than the five-year (2012–2016) average for the week.

The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, rose by 2 cents, averaging $6.79 per MMBtu for the week ending Aug. 9. The prices of ethane, butane, and isobutane fell by 1, 2 and 1 percent,  respectively. The price of propane rose by 2 percent. The price of natural gas remained flat week over week.

According to Baker Hughes, for the week ending Friday, Aug. 4, the natural gas rig count decreased by 3 to 189. The number of oil-directed rigs fell by 1 to 765. The total rig count decreased by 4, and now stands at 954.

Pizza company stocks

Pizza stocks were mixed last week; the two Louisville-based brands monitored by this site gained slightly over the course of the trading week, while the two other brands monitored here turned in disappointing results. 

The good news came from Pizza Hut parent Yum Brands and Papa John’s, both of which registered gains on the week. At Yum, the stock hopped up about 53 cents in value, ending at $75.56 Friday. Papa John’s also took a jump ahead to end at $78.69 Friday, up from $76.84 the previous Friday. 

But for the recently up-and-down Domino’s brand, the news was less than reassuring, with a drop of almost $4 in value over the week, to end at $192.86 Friday, down from $196.70 at the previous week’s close. Take-and-bake brand Papa Murphy’s also saw a decline — to $4.09 on Friday, down from $4.19 at the close of the previous trading week. 

Topics: 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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