Aside from prominent pizza player, Domino’s — which took a hit in trading last week — all of the other major pizza players on the publicly traded scene fared well in trading in the final month of May. In fact, Pizza Hut parent, Yum Brands managed a nice uptick in value last week, rising from $89.73 on May 29, to $96.52 last Friday at the close of trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Meantime, on the NASDAQ, Pizza Inn and Pie Five parent, Rave Restaurant Group, had a nice one week price hike to close Friday at $1.05, up a 15 cents on the week. Also on the NASDAQ, Papa John’s edged up $1.17 in value over the week’s trading to close Friday at $79.06.
But as we mentioned, Domino’s had a tough week on the New York Stock Exchange last week, closing Friday at $376.41, down $9.43 from the previous Friday’s close of $385.84.
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cheese barrels closed at $2.36, while 40-pound blocks ended Friday at $2.55. The weekly average for barrels was up 3 cents to $2.27, while the average for blocks was up 41 cents at $2.50.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, cheese customers nationwide are finding cheese stocks tighter, particularly for recently produced inventories. Retail orders are picking up seasonally, and pizza restaurant and other food service buyers are refilling their pipelines of the product. Additionally, governmental purchases have chiseled down inventories.
All those changes are concurrent with milk yields from the farm declining, due both to seasonal factors and self-imposed regulations, while Midwest spot milk prices are ranging higher. As a result, cheese market tones are in an unprecedentedly bullish state.
For perspective, Chicago Mercantile Exchange block prices on May 4 were $1.21, the U.S.D.A. said. But those prices more than doubled by June 4, reaching $2.53. But cheese producers and other department contacts do expect some settling to occur when pipelines are restocked. The question remains as to when that will be.
Cash bids for wheat nationally ranged from flat to 5 cents higher. Kansas City hard red winter wheat was unchanged, ranging from $5.43 to $5.53, while truck bids for hard red wheat ranged from flat to 5 cents higher at $4.76 to $4.86 per bushel. In Jefferson City, Missouri, cash bids for U.S. No. 2 soft red winter wheat were down 8 cents on the week to $5.35, according to the U.S.D.A.
Over the past week, the cost for a gallon of regular unleaded gas increased 5 cents to $2.03, which is also 20 cents more than a month ago, but still 73 cents lower than last year at this time, according to the American Automobile Association.
According to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, demand grew slightly from 7.3 million barrels a day (b/d) to 7.5 million b/d last week. The increase in demand has occurred alongside an increase in the national average price, suggesting that motorists will likely see pump prices continue to move higher, AAA said.
Domestic crude prices have also been volatile as the market awaits a potential announcement from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on additional steps to reduce crude production amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has lowered global crude demand. OPEC and other large crude producers, including Russia, are implementing a 9.7 million b/d crude production reduction agreement for May and June 2020, but the future of the agreement is uncertain. As market uncertainty over the agreement increases, crude prices will likely remain volatile, AAA said.
The biggest price increases over the last week were in Colorado ( up 12 cents), Alaska (up 8 cents) and Idaho and Montana, which were both up 7 cents on the week. AAA reported the current national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is $2.03, while mid-grade ($2.37) and premium gas ($2.63), also increased similarlyover the week.
E85 prices were up about 4 cents on the week to today’s average of $1.89, while diesel has remained relatively flat in price over the last month, coming in at an average of $2.41 a gallon today, which is the same as last week and just a cent under the price last month.
Natural gas spot prices rose at most locations for the most recent report week, ending June 3. The Henry Hub spot price rose from $1.72 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) to $1.77/MMBtu over that period. At the New York Mercantile Exchange, the June 2020 contract expired last Wednesday at $1.72/MMBtu, while the July 2020 contract price fell to $1.82/MMBtu, down 6 cents/MMBtu over the seven-day period. The price of the 12-month strip averaging July 2020 through June 2021 futures contracts declined 1 cent/MMBtu to $2.44/MMBtu.
The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, rose by 11 cents/MMBtu, averaging $4.46/MMBtu for the seven days. The prices of propane, isobutane, butane, and ethane rose by 1%, 4%, 6%, and 9%, respectively. The price of natural gasoline fell by 12% in response to weakened demand for diluent by heavy crude oil producers.