KANSAS CITY (Dow Jones)--Cash cattle price trends going into next week are weaker, a move echoed by hog markets as meat buyers pull back after securing their Memorial Day needs.

Volumes of cattle sold this week were considered moderate and enough to keep cattle owners up to date on their marketings. However, demand for red meat is fading for the short term.

Cattle prices this week tended to fade as the week progressed. Prices that started the week at $98 per hundredweight on a live basis ended at $96. This would be even more dramatic if sales of cattle from this week's showlists at $99 and $100 late Friday of last week are considered to be part of this week's business rather than last week's.

Cattle traded this 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.

Cattle traded last week at mostly $100 on a live basis and at mostly $163 on a dressed basis.

The HedgersEdge packer margin index is a plus $35.90 per head, compared with the previous index of a plus $28.65. For the week, the index averaged a plus $32.78.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported its latest choice boxed beef composite carcass price at $167.65 per hundredweight, down $0.26, while select beef was off $1.07 at $161.90. The volume of fabricated loads was 139 and there were 70 loads of trimmings and coarse grind product reported.

Urner Barry's Yellow Sheet said spot markets were about steady. End cuts remain somewhat scarce, as export and domestic demand cleared the bulk of product from packer coolers.

Middle meats continued to erode ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, with barely steady to weak market tones still blanketing the rib and loin complexes, the Yellow Sheet said. Ground-beef prices unchanged on the day, with product sustaining a steady/firm near-term undertone.


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