A survey of cattle-industry leaders reveals expectations for higher cattle prices as last week’s Cattle on Feed report showed lower-than-expected placements in feedlots last month. Market experts predict the cash market will gain another 30 cents, increasing to $120.82 per cwt this week.

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 gained $1.02. The USDA announced that cash trade for the week was $120.52. The cash cattle market has improved for four consecutive weeks, gaining $7.68 in that time.

Reports of fewer cattle on feed from the USDA led to more aggressive bids from packers. The latest Cattle on Feed report shows 10 percent fewer cattle in U.S. feedyards compared to the same time in 2011. Tightening supplies and higher demand from supermarkets trigger higher wholesale beef prices as well. Beef prices gained 82 cents Monday closing at $193.85 per cwt.

Each week Drovers CattleNetwork 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 Tommy Beall, Beall Consulting.

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