Commodities: Markets yield midsummer merriment for pizza brands

It was an especially nice week for pizza stocks, with all four brands monitored here showing healthy gains over the course of the trading week. But some of the most-used pizza commodities also had a fairly nice week in the markets, particularly in the case of cheese, which last week recovered to its early June prices. 


Cheese closed the commodities trading week at $1.71, almost returning to the early June price after plummeting approximately 20 cents over the course of the last two months, dropping as far as $1.51 on June 29. 


On the grain markets, bids for wheat were mixed, with weekly export sales for all wheat viewed as bullish, showing a total of 24.6 mb (669,500 mt), all for the 2017–2018 marketing year.  

Kansas City U.S. No. 1 Hard Red Winter, ordinary protein rail bid was 11 3/4 to 31 3/4 cents lower at $5.10 3/4–$5.93 3/4 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 5 to 7 cents lower at $5.06–$5.11 per bushel. Minneapolis and Duluth U.S. No. 1 Dark Northern Spring, 14.0 to 14.5 percent protein rail was 28 1/2 to 33 1/2 cents higher at $8.53–$8.93 per bushel. Portland U.S. Soft White wheat rail was 10 to 14 cents higher at $5.35 3/4–$5.45 per bushel.

Gas and diesel fuel

                                    Regular        Mid          Premium       Diesel

Current Avg.                $2.284         $2.570     $2.815          $2.454

Yesterday Avg.            $2.283         $2.567     $2.814          $2.452

Week Ago Avg.           $2.252         $2.54       $2.790          $2.443

Month Ago Avg.          $2.270         $2.57       $2.816          $2.458

Year Ago Avg.             $2.165         $2.443     $2.682          $2.340

Natural gas

Natural gas spot prices rose at most locations this report week (Wednesday, July 12, to Wednesday, July 19). The Henry Hub spot price rose from $2.98 per million British thermal units last Wednesday to $3.10/MMBtu yesterday.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange, the August 2017 contract price rose 8 cents, from $2.985/MMBtu last Wednesday to $3.066/MMBtu yesterday.

Net injections to working gas totaled 28 billion cubic feet for the week ending July 14. Working natural gas stocks are 2,973 Bcf, which is 9 percent less than the year-ago level and 5 percent more than the five-year (2012–2016) average for this week.

The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, rose 24 cents, averaging $6.09/MMBtu for the week ending July 19. The prices of natural gasoline, ethane, propane, butane and isobutane rose 4, 2, 6, 4 and 5 percent, respectively.

According to Baker Hughes, for the week ending Friday, July 14, the natural gas rig count decreased by two to 187. The number of oil-directed rigs rose by two to 765. The total rig count remained at 952.

Pizza company stocks

Pizza was the darling of restaurant stocks last week, with all brands monitored here making healthy gains in value over the course of the trading week. Domino’s closed out on Friday at $213.22,  up $4.02 from the previous Friday’s close at $209.20.

Both Pizza Hut parent Yum Brands Papa John’s rose $1.14 in value over the trading week. Yum moved up to $74.74 at the close of the trading week, while Papa John’s finished out at $76.54. At the previous Friday’s close, Yum was at $73.60, while Papa John’s closed at $75.41 

Take-and-bake chain Papa Murphy’s also had reason to celebrate, rising 33 cents in value over the trading week to close at $4.54, up from $4.21 a week earlier. 

Photo: iStock

/ 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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