A survey of cattle-industry leaders suggests the average price for cash cattle will decrease $1.38 to 95.75 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. This week prices decreased for the first time in three weeks. Last week the USDA announced that cash trade for the week ending May 23rd was 97.13, a 14 percent increase from a year earlier.

Several industry insiders are citing a concern of the overall economy as a reason for the lower price predictions.

Greg Henderson, Drovers editor agrees with the sentiment.

“Cattle and beef prices are under pressure this week from economic forces outside the industry. Many commodities – oil, grain, cattle, etc. – are trading lower as investors show their concern for global economic conditions. The Dow Jones stock averages have lost more than 10 percent of their value in the past month, an indicator the recession is far from over.

Fundamentally, the cattle market remains in good shape. Supplies are manageable and exports are increasing. But cash fed cattle prices declined $2.50 to $3.50 last week, and packers are likely to lower bids again this week as market-ready cattle supplies begin to increase seasonally.”

Each week CattleNetwork awards a $100 gift certificate from Cabela's courtesy of Intervet/Schering Plough to the industry leader whose forecast comes closest to the 5-Area cash trade number reported by the USDA. The most recent winner is Mark Boos of Garden City Feedyard.