Traders saw another week of significant gains for cash cattle as beef prices move to record highs and show no sign of slowing down. Wholesale choice beef prices improved Monday to $236.56 per hundredweight, marking the eighth consecutive day posting a new record high.
As analysts try to keep up with the escalating market, our panel of experts forecast another move higher for the cash market this week. The Monday Market Sentiment predicts an increase of 26 cents per hundredweight, setting expectations for this week’s trade at $142.76 per hundredweight.
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 average prices continued higher with week-to-week gains above two dollars for the fourth consecutive week. Last week the USDA announced that cash trade for the week ending January 17th was $142.50 per cwt.
Last week’s cash trade was $2.81 per hundredweight above the previous week and marks the fourth week in a rally that has lifted the market $11.87 per hundredweight higher since the week of Dec. 23.
R.J. O’Brien floor manager Jim Brooks told Reuters he keeps expecting cash trade to withdraw as soon as the beef market cools, but the rally keeps charging forward as both markets continue to reset record highs.
Brooks says cash prices tend to peak around this time of year. Cash trade in the same week a year ago was $123.88 per hundredweight.
Frigid temperatures expected this week will limit weight gain for cattle and temporarily restrain beef production numbers.
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 Kyle Williams, Lubbock Feeders.