After a two-week increase, the 5-Area Accumulated Average Cattle Price declined $1.18 per hundredweight to $160.75 per hundredweight last week.

Our panel of cattle industry experts who make up the Monday Market Sentiment projected the decline, estimating it to hit $161.21 per hundredweight. This week, the panel expects the price to continue to drop, reaching $159.88 per hundredweight.

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Choice boxed beef continues to pick up during the start of the grilling season, jumping from $259.57 per hundredweight during the week ending May 11, to $260.96 per hundredweight by May 12. During the middle of the week on May 14, boxed beef hit a high of $264.74 per hundredweight, and leveled out at $262.92 per hundredweight by the end of the week on May 18. The price increases moved the 27-day average to $258.84 per hundredweight.

Choice primal rib also made significant gains throughout last week, starting off May 12 at $384.91 per hundredweight and hitting $387.11 per hundredweight by May 14. However, by the end of the week on May 18, prices had declined to $383.94 per hundredweight. The price movement set the 27-day average to $383.96 per hundredweight.

Each week the Cattle Trader Center, on behalf of Merck Animal Health, 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 Mike Binns, Brookover Cattle.

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