Last Friday’s Cattle on Feed report confirmed livestock supplies are shirking. The report met expectations, preventing drastic market changes; however results of the report were enough to lead our panel to forecast higher cash cattle prices this week. The Monday Market Sentiment predicts an increase of 49 cents to $125.85 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 increased slightly, ending two weeks of consecutive losses. The cash cattle market lost $1.69 in the previous two weeks. Last week the USDA announced that cash trade for the week ending November 16th was 125.36, a 45 cent improvement from the previous week.

Tighter cattle supplies will help support higher beef prices, even as consumers seek alternative meat choices to avoid high grocery bills. Reuters reports packers curbed cash spending last week to recoup lost margins and advance wholesale beef prices. Cash trade started the week quietly and lower trade is expected due to closing due to Thanksgiving.

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 Mark Engler, Cactus Feeders.

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