Wholesale beef prices moved lower at the end of last week but recovered on Monday which will keep beef packers interested as they continue to see good profit margins. According to the Sterling Profit Tracker, beef packers are seeing average positive margins of $78 per head while feeding margins declined to an average loss of $196.41. Our panel of Monday Market Sentiment experts forecast this week’s cash prices to hold steady, with an increase of a dime over the previous week. This week’s Monday Market Sentiment is $120.79 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 prices decline again, down $2.02 per cwt from the previous week. Cash trade has fallen for six consecutive weeks, losing $8.31 in that time. Last week the USDA announced that cash trade for the week ending June 14 was $120.69 per cwt.

Recent USDA data is bullish for the beef market. Last week’s beef exports totaled 27,000 tons, a new record high since the USDA started to track data in 2008. Good exports and steady beef prices remaining near record highs should keep beef packers interested in the cash market.

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 Wayne Lee, Cattle Empire.

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