Over the past week, cheese prices gained the most of the soft commodities that we track. Coffee declined almost 6% after strong gains last week. Currently, Arabica prices are down 35% versus last year and almost 30% YTD. This year-over-year decline is a benefit to SBUX, PEET, GMCR, CBOU, THI and other coffee retailers. Grain prices declined week-over-week as corn, wheat, and soybean saw declines of -3.5%, -2.4%, and -7.1%, respectively.
Elevated gasoline prices are slowing growth in the U.S. Commodity inflation during the last few years of quantitative easing has been staggering. Copper, oil, gold are up in the region of 80% in the last three-and-a-half years while beef is up 50% over the same period. Gasoline prices are a major factor for the consumer at the moment and we fully expect Darden management to mention gas prices tomorrow on their earnings call.