Feedlots have again put a floor in Pakenham, in what was dubbed a sharply divided market.
Heavier cattle sold to strong demand, particularly from feedlots and butchers, while smaller calves struggled.
Jamie Quinlan, Elders, said a massive divide had opened up in the sale, with an evident split between cattle weighing 300-320 kilograms.
"Anything above was probably 10-15 cents a kilogram dearer, anything below could be 10c/kg cheaper," Mr Quinlan said.
"A lot of well-bred cattle, averaging 250-290kg, were selling for 260-270c/kg.
"It was a mixed sale, but the heavy cattle were the shining light on the day."
Feedlotters were particularly active.
Eyton-on-Yarra, Healesville, brought a line of more than 80 cattle, selling its first pen of 14, 415kg steers for $1345 a head, or 324c/kg.
Its second pen of 16, 366kg, steers sold for $1230, or 336c/kg.
Jarrod Bennetts, Everitt Seeley & Bennetts, said grown cattle were selling exceptionally well, compared to a month ago.
"But once we got off those cattle that were 320kg and above, we found it pretty sticky," Mr Bennetts said.
"It was definitely driven by the feedlotters, they were very strong on all weights, over 420kg."
While there had been rain, the lighter cattle failed to fire.
"It's the old saying, it doesn't grow grass overnight so the little cattle struggled a bit - people are not prepared to put them out," he said.
Among the lighter steers was a pen of Kenny's Creek and Lawson blood cattle, Penbro Pastoral, Glenburn.
Their first pen of 20, 267kg steers sold for $680, or 254c/kg, while the second pen of 15, averaging 308kg, went for $950, or 308c/kg.
Anthony Delaney, Rodwells, said the numbers had stayed high, with quality heavier cattle.
"Calves sold to a better range of competition," Mr Delaney said.
"Normally the feedlots have been at them, whereas [today] certain pens were going back to bullock fatteners, with the rise in the bullock price, a bit of rain and a bit off a sell-off in late autumn."
He said feedlotters were pushed higher by graziers, for the first time in several sales.
David Setches, Alex Scott & Staff, said feeder calves and cattle over 500kg were touching 300c/kg.
"At the last sale the very best of those feed-on types, up to 500kg, only made up to 290-295c/kg," Mr Setches said.
Rain in NSW was also likely to have lifted prices as well.
"The Easter markets proved to be a bit of tough period, I think that had an effect," he said.
"What a difference a fortnight makes, with a bit of rain."
Butchers were active at Pakenham, with Westside in particular bidding on the 300-400kg cattle.
G Murray, Nar Nar Goon, sold 17 Banquet blood Angus heifers, 532kg, for $1520, or 285c/kg.
M Draper, Wollert, sold 19 rising two year-old Angus steers, 562kg, for $1680, or 298c/kg.
C Heywood, Yarragon, sold 15, 488kg steers for $1500, or 307c/kg, while its second pen of 15, 463kg steers fetched $1450, or 313c/kg.
Moidart Pastoral, Pakenham South, sold 10 Eagle Rock Angus blood steers, 405kg, for $1140, or 281c/kg.
Its pen of six heifers, 413kg, sold for $1060, or 256c/kg.
VM and EJ White, Kilmany, sold 33 Pinora Angus blood steers, 423kg, for $1340, or 316c/kg.
Jennat, Nar Nar Goon, sold 19, 14-16 month-old pure Shorthorn steers, Spry's Shorthorn blood, 427kg, for $1290, or 302c/kg.
Villa Brae Pastoral, Creightons Creek, sold a draft of 15x15 fourth calvers, Te Mania and Anvil blood, for $1280.
Trevor Sergeant, Villa Brae, said conditions in the area were very tough and the property was destocking.
"It's like a desert, water supplies are diminishing, they're on supplementary feed, as fodder is non-existent," Mr Sergeant said.
"They're living on hay and silage."
He said the cows and calves offered at Pakenham were among the better ones on the property.
"We've brought down 15, at the moment and will be selling more in the next fortnight," he said.