Cash trade was almost five dollars higher last week, matching combined gains of the previous two weeks as prices set a new record by topping $150 per hundredweight.
Boxed beef prices continue to climb and Choice prices approached $230 Monday. The trend higher in the two weeks following a series of steep declines have re-energized cash trade.
Predictions by our panel of experts were mixed this week, but the weekly average moves the Monday Market Sentiment slightly lower, falling 79 cents per hundredweight to $149.76.
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 prices posted substantial gains, up $4.99 per hundredweight. Last week’s surge matches the gains of $3.49 and $1.50 over the previous two weeks. The USDA announced that cash trade for the week ending February 28was $150.55 per hundredweight.
Retailers are beginning to prepare for the upcoming spring grilling season and recent demand for limited supplies is good news for feeders and packers. Choice boxed beef prices are over three dollars higher than a week earlier and seem to be charging forward.
Feeders will be challenged by a recent move higher in the corn market and a blast of colder weather that has delayed shipments of cattle to market and limited weight gains.
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 Shelby Jones, Ranger Feeders.