A massive yarding of more than 5000 cattle was snapped up by a big gallery of buyers at Leongatha's recent store sale.
Landmark Leongatha manager Terry Ginnane said missing a sale during the Easter break was a contributor to the increased yarding, as well as some optimism in the industry.
"Prices have been increasing a little bit, especially on those feeder cattle, so instead of taking cattle through the winter, people are seeing opportunities to sell them now," Mr Ginnane said.
"Our bullock prices over the last three to four weeks have gone up 5-6 cents a kilogram each week, so as those prices go up, people have more confidence to sell fat cattle and come back into the market.
"The trade difference is still very good."
He said it was a good yarding of cattle.
"There were some very good lines, and there was especially good feedlot support for the heavy cattle, they sold probably 10-15c/kg dearer than what they had been," he said.
A lot of cattle came from East Gippsland, an area that despite receiving rain recently, has suffered through a "very, very dry" couple of years.
He said their top weaner calves made up to 370-390c/kg, but those were bought by repeat clients coming back on an annual draft.
Most calves made 270-280c/kg, and some between 320-340c/kg.
Feeder steers ranged from 300-300c/kg.
He said recent rain could have been attributable to the higher prices.
"We had about 18-20 millimetres about a week ago, which helped, and yesterday (Wednesday), there was 20-30mm depending on where you were," he said.
In the heavier steer section, RL Boadle, Ballarat, sold a pen of 550kg Angus at $1580 a head or 287c/kg, and a second pen of 21, 524kg, at $1560 or 298c/kg.
Baillie Bros, Tyers, sold a pen of 22 steers at 574kg at $1730 or 301c/kg and a second pen of 23 at 541kg at $1690 or 312c/kg, while D Timmins, Glengarry, sold a pen of 16 at 477kg at $1490 or 312c/kg.
As the steers got lighter, prices held their own.
Von Page Pastoral, Giffard, sold a pen of 28 at 386kg for $1270 or 329c/kg and a second of 17 weighing 384kg for $1250 or 325c/kg.
B&P Svenson, Berrys Creek, sold a pen of 15 at 389kg for $1250 or 321c/kg, while APJ Properties sold a pen of 13 at 487kg for $1460 or 299c/kg.
Elm Valley, Tarwin Lower, sold a large line of 125 steers, with the first pen of 20 at 308kg making $1010 or 328c/kg and the second pen of 32 making $1070 or 383c/kg for 279kg.
Whittaker & Station, Tarwin Lower, sold a pen of 18 at 372kg for $1150 or 309c/kg.
J&K McCarley, Alberton, sold a pen of Friesian steers at $520 for 335kg.
In the heifer section, W&C Raabe sold 11 at 360kg for $920, while A&P Anton & Sons sold 15 at $590, a second pen of 23 at $600 and a third pen of eight at $560.
Belcher sold nine Angus at $530 and a second pen of seven Herefords at $500.
Sonja Reichbauer sold seven Angus at $570.
Susan and Gordon Couper, G&S Couper, Mardan, sold Angus and Angus/Hereford-cross steers.
They had sold half of their load in spring but held onto the rest despite it being "quite dry".
"We've fared better than most," Mr Couper said.
Ian Hitchings, I&M Hitchings, Wonthaggi, sold 11 steers at $580 and 17 heifers at $640, at the sale.
Mr Hitchings said he was "very satisfied" with the prices made for his bucket-reared cattle, who were straight out of his dairy herd.
He said the heifers would make terrific mothers.
"It's been a struggle, the longest struggle I've ever had, but we'll make it," he said.