The cash market fell for the third consecutive week, down $1.30 last week to $122.59 per cwt. Despite the continued losses, our Monday Market Sentiment panel remains confident that recent news will help turn the market around. Our panel of industry professionals forecast an increase of $2.76 this week, expecting the average 5-Area trade to improve to $125.35 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 cash prices declined $1.30, marking the third consecutive week of losses. The 5-Area average price has lost $5.55 during those three weeks. This week’s cash trade average for the week ending January 25th was $122.59 per cwt.

Recent losses in the cash cattle market have allowed beef packers to improve poor profit margins, however pushback from grocers on high beef prices has limited progress. Live and feeder cattle futures have started this week higher as news of tighter cattle inventories in last Friday’s Cattle on Feed report and Monday’s news of eased beef restrictions on U.S. beef exports support both markets. Reuters reports investors are waiting for cash trade to begin after futures widened their premium to slaughter-ready cattle last week

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 Terry Ryan, JBS Five Rivers.

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