In last week’s Feeder Cattle Review, economist suggested Mr. Grinch was sneaking around sticking lumps of coal in the stockings of cattle markets. The 5-area cash cattle market was no different and wasn’t spared in his scroogish mood, continuing a three week skid last week. The price for cash cattle dropped from $162.67 in the previous week to $158.38 last week.

Our panel of cattle industry experts who make up the Monday Market Sentiment predicted the drop, however underestimated the severity with a guess of $161.68. This week’s prediction is lower from their previous one, however estimating an increase to the previous 5-area cash cattle price to $160.07.

Feed cattle? Like predicting market trends? Have use for a $100 gift card from Cabelas? Then we want you. Click here to join our Monday Market Sentiment panel of cattle industry experts.

Choice boxed beef also continues to be on the decline, with a high of $242.88 on Tuesday that declined to $238.57 by Friday. The three week skid for choice boxed beef set the 27-day average down to $251.03.

Choice primal rib has been making significant decreases after setting a yearly record high of $413.39 the week of Dec. 9. Since then, primal rib prices have taken more than a $70 price hit. Last week saw a high of $363.35 on Tuesday, ending with a low of $341.89 on Monday. The decreases have moved the 27-day average down to $383.13.

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 Jim Gilmore, Cattle Empire.

Want to join the expert panel? Email your 5-area cash trade estimate by 10 a.m. CT each Tuesday to cmies@vancepublishing.com along with your name and company affiliation.