After moving full steam ahead for six consecutive weeks, cash trade is expected to be steady the week prior to the Labor Day holiday. Cash cattle trade gained $4.94 per cwt in the six-week rally, including two consecutive weeks where average gains reached about two dollars per cwt.

Our Monday Market Sentiment panel expects cash trade to remain steady as packers saw profit margins move higher last week, averaging above $20 per head. Even with the heat in the Midwest that may deter some backyard chefs, grocers will look to stock enough beef this week for the final major grilling holiday of the summer.  

The weekly forecast by our Monday Market Sentiment panel shows cash trade will remain even with the previous week, expecting trade to hold steady at $124.60 per cwt.

The Monday Market Sentiment is a forecast of the upcoming weekly cash trade (5-Area weighted average price) prices reported by the USDA. This week’s average cash price improved by 41 cents over the previous week. Last week the USDA announced that cash trade for the week ending August 23 was $124.60 per cwt.

Feeder margins declined as feed costs moved over $23 per head higher. High-priced corn is expected to cut further into feeder margins as dry weather is pushing soybean and corn prices higher.

Each week the Cattle Trader Center, on behalf of Vance Publishing, awards a $100 gift certificate from Cabela's to the industry leader whose forecast comes closest to the 5-Area cash trade number reported by the USDA. The most recent winner was Ryan Loseke, Loseke Feedyards.

Join our team of industry professionals to predict this week's cash trade. Click here for contest rules. Click here to register.