A large gallery of onlookers attracted by 2500 cattle watched with anticipation at Pakenham on Thursday as cattle prices pushed past 400 cents a kilogram for a third-consecutive sale.
Prices were bolstered by additional feedlot competition and underpinned with strong restocker demand as well-bred lines of steers and Angus heifers sold to increased levels.
Light steers topped the market at 450 cents a kilogram, as prices rose on heavy-end steers and breeding stock.
"With the market taking a rise in the last three or so weeks, it's the heavier cattle and your prime bullocks that probably haven't caught up but we saw those heavier cattle match the lighter stuff here today," Elders Pakenham auctioneer Michael Robertson said.
"The cross-bred steers also picked up and made close to 300 cents a kilogram and a fraction over."
"It was a mixed yarding but one of the features of our sale was a really nice run of heavy-weight Angus heifers in between 420-480 kilo range and they made between 324-330 cents a kilogram."
Tim Waterfall, Balnarring, sold a popular line of Angus steers, including a top pen of 26, 306kg, for $1380 or 450c/kg.
John and Denise Miron, Warragul, sold the highest per head pen of 12 Angus steers, 581kg, for $2020 or 347c/kg.
"Processors are concerned about supply going forward," Nathan Gibbon Livestock manager Nathan Gibbon said.
"A lot of the lighter cattle have also been bought by the feedlots we had here today but those restockers pushed feedlots very strongly throughout the sale."
Angus heifers were also in strong demand, with people investing in female cattle for future breeding stock.
"We had heifers into 360-380 cents in places which is fantastic and I think a lot of people have looked at steers, and decided instead to buy well-bred heifers because they can always be joined or sold later," Alex Scott & Staff Pakenham livestock manager David Setches said.
"Whereas steers you've only got one way to go with them so people were changing tactic today and buying a few heifers because steers have been too hot for them."
The Savige Family, Cloverlea, sold nine heifers, 317kg, for $1060 or 334c/kg.
SJ Butcher, Woodend North, sold 18 heifers, 371kg, for $1190 or 320c/kg.
Parker Amber Pty Ltd, Krowera, sold 27 heifers, 336kg, for $1160 or 345c/kg.
DJ and AK Preston, Clyde North, sold 18 heifers, 360kg, for $1175 or 326c/kg.
Makarna Farms, Lang Lang, sold 19 heifers, 307kg, for $1190 or 320c/kg.
Everitt, Seeley and Bennetts livestock agent Michael Jolly said cattle below 300kg were making upwards of 420c/kg on average.
"The demand is high for everything and once the quality cattle start getting up to this sort of money, everything else follows through so people are starting to look at secondary and cross-bred cattle to buy," he said.
"Feedlotters are all of a sudden more interested in all sorts of cattle along with the fat job which is pushing the cattle and hence why we saw prices rise slightly on those Euro cattle."
C Stockwell, Nar Nar Goon, sold eight steers, 480kg, for $1780 or 370c/kg.
MD Gordon, Glen Forbes, sold 18 steers, 304kg, for $1220 or 401c/kg.
Yarrabee Park sold eight steers, 454kg, for $1650 or 363kg.
Assumption College, Kilmore, sold 18 steers, 330kg, for $1100 or 333c/kg.
Nazaray Estate, Flinders, sold 10 steers, 495kg, for $1780 or 359c/kg.
R Walton, Cora Lynn, sold nine steers, 416kg, for $1380 or 331c/kg.
M Bollen, Sale, sold 23 steers, 331kg, for $1340 or 404c/kg.
D Corbelle, Ferndale, sold 10 steers, 437kg, for $1650 or 377c/kg.
RTS Pty Ltd, Bayles, sold 23 steers, 489kg, for $1860 or 380c/kg.
NG Ashlin, Longford, sold 22 steers, 373kg, for $1400 or 375c/kg.
Karamia Pastoral, Longwarry North, sold 15 steers, 379kg, for $1320 or 348c/kg.