The cash cattle market retracted from the previous week’s significant gains, falling 34 cents last week. Cash cattle ended the week lower with the USDA forecasting higher-than-expected beef production from U.S. cattle herds. Our panel of industry experts remains confident and expects prices to charge higher. This week’s Monday Market Sentiment predicts higher cash prices, showing an increase of 93 cents to $125.76 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 prices declined, down 34 cents from the previous week. Last week the USDA announced that cash trade for the week ending February 8th was $124.83 per cwt.

Last week’s cash market ended lower with worries over the effects of the approaching storm through the Northeast over the weekend. Wholesale beef prices dropped lower Friday as storms prevented consumers from grocery shopping or dining out. High cash prices and falling beef prices have weighed on packers who saw margins fall to negative $75.95 from a negative $61.45 a week earlier.

Some news early this week provide a bright spot for cattle feeders. Wholesale beef prices showed a partial recovery Monday and outlooks for a record U.S. corn crop may provide cheaper feed in 2013.

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 Ryan Loseke, Loseke Feedyards.

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