Consistent rainfall across South and West Gippsland contributed to a jump in prices at Pakenham on Thursday, in some places more than $100 dearer on a fortnight ago.
Agents penned one of their lowest yardings in recent months with just 1500 cattle, however, a larger crowd compared to the first January helped prices rise steadily.
A pen of 21 Leongatha South steers, 392kg, by Ross King topped the market at $1550 a head or 395 cents a kilogram.
Selling agent Everitt, Seeley and Bennetts director Jarrod Bennetts said the rise in prices and confidence was an indicator of the buoyant market.
"We noted a marked increase in the value of the cattle today and we anticipate it was in excess of $100 to the previous fortnight's special feature sale," he said.
"Everything sold well; the steers were exceptional and made into the 390s, the heavy grown cattle sold beyond expectation and the heifers sold very, very well.
"There's a different feel to the industry since the rain up north and the fat cattle prices are moving in the right direction and it was pouring rain while were were selling inside."
Onlookers were stunned in the cows and calves section when a a row of Speckle Park steers by Quirk Pastoral, Orange, NSW, sold to a buyer from Woolamai for $810-$860, paying an estimated $5 a kilogram.
Feedlots were more active at Pakenham compared to recent Gippsland store sales, making it difficult for some restockers to purchase trusted lines of cattle.
Landmark Pakenham auctioneer Andy Grant said he was blown away by the result.
"You couldn't get a steer here under $900 a fortnight ago and I think it was tough to find one under $1000 here today," he said.
"Prices were at least $50-$100 dearer across the board and we put that down to plenty of rain and cooler weather."
Elders Pakenham auctioneer Carlo Toranto said heavy rainfall had delayed some of his clients' cattle from hitting the market.
"We had a storm in the Kinglake/Murrundindi area where Eagleglen were smashed with 120 mils of rain and that stopped 140 calves coming but they're coming in two weeks' time," he said.
He sold a pen of European Union-accredited cattle by Nar Nar Goon Angus which averaged 396 kilograms and made 348c/kg.
'That would have been 25-30 cents dearer than a fortnight ago," Mr Toranto said.
Alex Scott & Staff auctioneer David Setches said the region had received up to 100 millimetres of rain since Monday which contributed to a rise in cattle prices.
"Locally we've had anywhere from 20-40 mils of rain overnight and 40-50 mil on Monday hence the crowd of people here and the intensity in the bidding throughout the sale," he said.
"It seems everyone was putting their hands up and there was certainly a lot of support from the cow cocky and the agents today where it was limited competition a fortnight ago.
"On the back of this rain, people are going to have to step up another notch and fat cattle saw a good rise right throughout Victoria this week so prices are only going to go north from here."
Quirk Pastoral, Orange, NSW, sold 15 steers, 309kg, for $1000 or 323c/kg.
R A Stephens sold 19 steers, 450kg, for $1500 or 333c/kg.
Tarro Lodge, Cape Schanck, sold 14 steers, 547kg, for $1810 or 347c/kg.
Scott Bentley, Poowong, sold 17 steers, 315kg, for $1090 or 346c/kg.
French Island Pastoral sold 14 steers, 319kg, for $1170 or 366c/kg.
In the heifers, B and A Spiden, Glen Forbes, sold nine, 345kg, for $1100 or 321c/kg.
M Stapleton, Euroa, sold eight heifers, 374kg, for $1050 or 280c/kg.
N and C Reid, Glenburn, sold 12 heifers, 328c/kg, for $960 or 292c/kg.
M Lizza, Lysterfield, sold nine heifers, 330kg, for $950 or 287c/kg.