Lower prices are expected to be a continuing trend as cattle feeders will also have to purchase more costly feed with dry conditions reaching most of the country earlier than anticipated.

A survey of cattle-industry leaders suggests the average price for cash cattle will fall $1.07 to $115.36 per cwt this week. The cash market has declined for two consecutive weeks, with drastic losses totaling $6.16 in that time.

The Monday Market Sentiment is a forecast of the upcoming weekly cash trade (5-Area weighted average price) prices reported by the USDA. The USDA announced that cash trade for the week declined to $116.43. The cash trade was $2.94 lower than the previous week’s average.

Last week’s cattle on feed report showed an increase in feedlot inventories and placements. Dry conditions have cattle moving to feedlots early. Packers have not offered bids yet this week and bids will be lower with fewer animals needed to fulfill orders. Less beef will be needed with this year’s Independence Day in the middle of the week.

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 Ben Stromgren, Bartlett Cattle.