The cash cattle market improved last week marking the second consecutive week of gains. The recent USDA crop planting intentions report and improved moisture have eased feeding concerns, but cooler weather at the start of the spring season and declining beef prices have traders cautious to start the week.

Our Monday Market Sentiment panel expects the cash cattle market to pull back this week with a decline of 17 cents to $128.10 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. Last week’s prices gained 54 cents, lifting the cash market to $128.27. The latest gains have increased the cash market by $3.51 per cwt over the past two weeks.

Lower choice and select cutout values to start this week have taken some steam out of the cash market. Wholesale beef prices typically improve at the start of spring, but cooler weather has delayed the start of “grilling season” and limited demand. Doane Advisory Services reports continued beef losses could undercut arguments for sustained cash cattle gains in the days and weeks ahead.

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 Steve Landgraf, Lakin Feedyard.

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