There were plenty of people but less competition at the 2019 Mountain Calf Sales.
Producers and agents were apprehensive prior to the start of Elders' black cattle sale, held on Tuesday at Omeo.
Producers did very well to hold some cattle for this sale, as the season in most of the high country is extremely poor.
There was a weight difference this year with a noticeable reduction of 30-50 kilograms liveweight, compared to the 2018 sales.
More younger calves were penned with producers electing not to hold their young cattle back.
But one benefit to the Mountain Calf Sales is the unique and repeat buying gallery, which can add an extra $100 a head onto the price of many cattle.
Taking pride of place this year was Clive and Di Anderson, Benambra, with a pen of 26 Angus steers that sold for $1010.
The balance of their 147 steers sold from $850, to average $935 overall.
Competition got a little doughy when the weights of the steers dropped below 280kg, and this created varying trends.
Many of the steers sold from $700-$830, with a few pens making to $970, which at times was dependent on straight Angus or their Hereford-cross.
Meringo Pastoral Co, Bindi, sold 226 steers between $585-$800, but most of them were younger steers.
Competition varied with many cattle going to South and West Gippsland, the North-East, and a few other places over Mt Hotham.
While the buyer registrations showed potential competition from central New South Wales, through to Tasmania, and South Australia, the later orders were not fulfilled to any great extent.
The youngest steers, while selling as expected to fairly poor demand, were still better than they could have been.
Black Mountain Station, Wulgulmerang, sold 166 steers, making from $460-$800.
Meringo Pastoral Co sold 44 yearling heifers from $960-$990.
F&D Boulton, Gelantipy, sold their usual run of yearling Angus/Hereford heifers, but they were lighter in weight again this year.
However, the first two pens, 50 heifers, sold for $620, then buyers had the choice of one pen up to the lot, of 258 head.
One buyer from Cootamundra, NSW, purchased the lot for $505.
Top of the 2018-drop heifers was B&J Flynn, selling 53 Angus heifers from $845-$860.
Some of the better pens of heifers sold from $600-$720, and most of the younger, and lighter weight heifers sold from $350-$580.