The NVLX Wodonga cattle sale surprised buyers hoping to find bargains as producers continue to struggle with the impact of a dry season.
Elders Wodonga agent Stephen Street said the yarding of 2171 cattle was very typical for June but prices were unexpected.
"Everybody was surprised," Mr Street said.
"A lot of cattle made 315-330 cents a kilogram.
"Well-grown steers were 10-15c/kg dearer than last month.
"Good Angus and black baldies weighing 260-310kg were 20c/kg more than last month.
According to the MLA, the prices for better-finished beef cows remained unchanged, averaging 220 cents per kilogram.
It said the D3 medium-weight lines and D2 types made from 132-190c/kg.
The better-shaped bulls lifted an average of 9c to make from 210-234c/kg.
One of those surprised by the results was Elders Narrandera agent Dominic O'Mahoney, who was commissioned to buy up to 500 steers for a Riverina client who had destocked last year.
"The cattle look very good, vendors have done a great job, and it looks like we will have some competition because most of the meat buyers are here," Mr O'Mahoney said before the sale.
Mr O'Mahoney had already bought about 60 Wagyu at Wagga Wagga on Monday averaging 315c/kg and was hoping to purchase 280-310kg cattle for between 300 and 310c/kg, albeit prepared to pay "a bit more".
He emerged from the market having bought just two pens, totalling 48 head, both averaging 320c/kg for steers averaging 280kg and 300kg.
"The market was dearer than I expected and people were obviously happy to spend money," Mr O'Mahoney said.
"I'm still not confident with the weather at home.
"Vendors here are getting good money, coming through to winter.
"I always treat it like spending my own money and know we're pushing the boundary with the cattle we've bought today.
"You're not making much by the time you get them home and drench them but you have to have them to sell them.
"The plan is to put on 1kg a day and get them into feedlots at 450-500kg.
"If I'd bought them any heavier, feedlotters would buy them themselves."
Also intent on buying young cattle was Kevin Donnelly of Benalla, who is a regular at the market, despite turning 90 next month.
"I'm here to buy a few steers and heifers weighing 270-280kg to fatten up to between 520 and 530kg and sell in April or May," he said.
Fellow market veteran Bill Weidner of Bungowannah, however, was only looking.
"It's too dry and we haven't got much feed," he said.
"Really, I'd be wanting to buy cows with six to seven-month-old calves that are weanable for $700 to $800.
"Six months ago I bought like that, split them and sold them three months later.
"I will only hang onto cattle for as long as I have to."