"It was a very, very strong, little market that put smiles on a lot of faces," Bill Wyndham & Co livestock agent Jake Fullgrabe said.
"A week's a long time in this game."
Mr Fullgrabe said vendors with cattle at Friday's store cattle sale at Bairnsdale were surprised and pleased with prices.
Brendan Fletcher, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), reported the market was mostly $50 to $100 a head dearer with some select pens gaining more.
Competition was keen for the penned 660 head, which was less than half the size of the previous offering.
"There was a lot of local competition," Mr Fullgrabe said.
"Plenty of graziers sold a lot of cattle 8 to 12 months ago and, all of a sudden, moisture's arrived that's given them a bit of hope, so they're coming back to buy.
"Garrison Feedlot was also a supportive buyer, particularly on the classy heifers weighing 350-360kg.
"The female market was up $100-$120."
MLA reported that the top price for weaner heifers was $960 for six European-cross heifers weighed at 342kg or 281c/kg.
The average weaner heifer price was $696 or 266c/kg.
The top of the yearling heifers made $855 for 11 Angus heifers weighed at 320kg or 267c/kg.
The average yearling heifer price was $604 or 233c/kg.
The top of the feeder heifers made $1000 for two European-cross heifers estimated to weigh 380kg or 263c/kg.
The average feeder heifer price was $874 or 251c/kg.
A few pens of pregnancy-tested-in-calf cows due to calve from August sold from $790-$980 and averaged $930.
Unsurprisingly, Mr Fullgrabe said there were a lot of small, lighter cattle at the market and also that well-covered cattle were becoming increasingly hard to find.
"Prices for steer calves weighing 260-280kg rose by up to $80 and a couple that were up to 400kg sold well to buyers from South Gippsland who wanted bigger cattle," he said.
"I had orders to buy 100-odd cattle.
"I was either blown out of the water or the cattle I wanted weren't there."
Mr Fletcher said there was also a good quality selection of European calves on offer.
"There was more feedlot inquiry due to a more suited offering, with the Euro calves above 300kg attracting the most competition while the lighter-end were mostly purchased by graziers," he said.
Weaner steers made up to $1000 for Angus steers weighing 345kg, which equates to 290c/kg.
The average weaner steer price was $757 or 279c/kg.
The top yearling steers made $1370 for two pens of Angus steers.
One pen of 10 weighed at 492kg and the other estimated slightly heavier, yielding 279c/kg for the weighed lot.
The average yearling steer price was $745 or 218c/kg.
Feeder steers averaged $871 or 261c/kg.
Mr Fullgrabe expects markets will continue to be relatively small until spring encourages bigger yardings.
"Our spring sale on the sixth of August will probably yard 1200 to 1500 cattle and the combined agents' sale later that week might have 2000 head but I don't expect to see any large yardings until then," he said.