KANSAS CITY (Dow Jones)--Cash cattle market analysts, brokers and traders have mixed opinions about the direction of fed cattle markets this week.

Prices worked lower last week but did so mostly because futures prices were well below cash bids, making the basis too attractive to ignore, even if bids worked lower during the week.

Many market analysts and brokers Monday morning were ready to move past the U.S. Department of Agriculture's May 1 cattle-on-feed report that was released Friday afternoon. At the time, many analysts felt it held an overall bearish tone for futures and cash markets.

"Cattle-on-feed had a negative tint, but we're staying very current" in feedlot marketings, a broker said. He expected this to overpower the bearish effects of the USDA report, at least in the short term.

Another broker/analyst said he was more concerned that fed cattle prices worked lower last week, implying that prices could remain a bit softer this week for an average price that ends up being lower than last week. Seasonal tendencies point toward lower cash cattle prices at this time of year, and beef is softer as buyers stand back to see how Memorial Day sales go.

Many traders expected futures markets to be steady to weaker on the open as the U.S. dollar moved higher in currency markets. A higher dollar implies less demand for volume exports even if the value remains the same.

One trader said he expected futures prices to stabilize for a day or two at least while traders get a grip on the number of cattle that will be marketed this week and watch to see how outside markets like the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the dollar move.

Cattle traded last week at mostly $97.50 in Texas, $97 to $98 in Kansas and at $96 to $97 in Nebraska. In dressed markets, cattle sold at mostly $154 to $155.

The HedgersEdge packer margin index is a plus $40.00 per head, compared with the previous index of a plus $35.90.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported its latest choice boxed beef composite carcass price at $167.20 per hundredweight, down $0.45, while select beef was off $0.84 at $161.06. The volume of fabricated loads was 134 and there were 66 loads of trimmings and coarse grind product reported.

Urner Barry's Yellow Sheet said erosion continues to occur within the choice and select loin complexes. End cuts held steady Friday as did ground beef.


-By Lester Aldrich, Dow Jones Newswires; 913-322-5179; lester.aldrich@dowjones.com