A survey of cattle-industry leaders suggests the average price for cash cattle will increase 17 cents to 82.40 this week.

The increase in the average forecast in CatttleNetwork's Monday Market Sentiment survey marks the 16th week in a row that industry insiders have predicted an increase in prices.

The Monday Market Sentiment is a forecast of the upcoming weekly cash trade (5-Area weighted average price) prices reported by the USDA. Prices have decreased for three

consecutive weeks. Last week the USDA announced that cash trade for the week ending October 4th was 82.23, a 10% decrease from a year earlier.

Cattle feeders are trying to remain hopeful that a turnaround is near.

Greg Henderson, Drovers editor, agrees with the consensus estimate. “Cash fed cattle prices should improve this week as supplies will be steady to smaller. Seasonally, fed cattle supplies are expected to be at their tightest levels through October and early November, which should be positive for prices. However, price gains will depend on improving consumer demand and packers’ ability to improve their margins.”

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 Mike Binns of Brookover Cattle Company.