Cash cattle trade picked up momentum last week, trading over a dollar higher compared to the previous week. Bids and asking prices were separated by four dollars midway through the week before trade settled above $124 per cwt prior to Friday’s Cattle on Feed report.

Our panel of cattle industry experts sees last week’s gains as the beginning of a trend higher, fueled by shrinking cattle supplies. This week’s Monday Market Sentiment panel predicts trade to move a dollar higher, averaging $125.12 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 average cash price improved by $1.07 per cwt over the previous week. Last week the USDA announced that cash trade for the week ending September 20 was $124.12 per cwt.

Cash market gains, fewer cattle available and lower corn prices have helped feeder margins move out of the red, averaging $42.88 per head last week. Wholesale beef prices were firm at the start of this week, leading analysts to believe a seasonal bottom has been set and gains in the market lie 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 Shelby Jones, Ranger Feeders.

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