Graeme Nicholson, Elders, said that the March penning of 3100 head was much plainer in quality and condition than the month-earlier sale, with the enduring hot and dry weather taking a huge toll on the surrounding supply area.
The yarding was up 600 head on the original advertised figure of 2500 head.
Mr Nicholson said prices were also "off-the-pace of the annual market", but were in line with the adjustments in the prime physical market.
Heavy steers made to a best of $1500 a head, while the tops of the weaner steers made up to $1260.
"The writing was on the wall, Ballarat was set for a correction," James Haddick, HF Richardson said.
"It must be remembered Ballarat had a cracking February market where almost all steers made 300 cents a kilogram or better.
"We knew it was coming but there were parts of this market that weren't as bad as it could have been."
Mr Nicholson said the market for smaller weaners was significantly cheaper, with steers ranging from 300-310 kilograms making $850, while lighter, 230-240kg, steers traded about the $500 level.
He said the buying gallery was very particular.
The well-bred, large lines attracted good interest, but the smaller, younger, mixed, coloured and plainer lots all generated less, and at times limited interest.
Mr Haddrick assessed better sales in the heavier end of the weaner section and the better-covered grown and heavy steers around the 265-280c/kg market.
The heaviest steers in the market weighed at 747kg made $1760, while 600kg Angus steers made $1490 and a second draft of the same truck, 565kg, made $1525.
The heifer market, according to both stock agents, was cheaper but gained good support from a number of feeders and processors who were putting cattle away for the winter.
"There wasn't the change in heifers prices as the steers," Mr Nicholson said.
"It was okay; most made 240-250c/kg, with pens, 400kg, sold to $1000 a head, while 220-230kg heifers made $350-$500."
Mr Haddrick said the better-conditioned heifers sold to the feeders, and were least affected as prices corrected.
These heifers with weights above 350kg made 260-265c/kg, while pens with less weight sold cheaper.
"The lighter they were the further the more the rate was discounted," he said.
Judy Norman, Clarks Hill, Ballarat, sold 11 heifers at 343c/kg.
Ian and Greg Shaw, Langsons Hill, Ballarat, sold 29 steers at $1070 and 12 heifers at $1350.
The sale was conducted by Elders, Landmark, HF RIchardson, Charles Stewart & Co and TB White & Sons.