A buoyant gallery of bidders were active at Pakenham on Thursday despite the saleyard falling under tough new stage four coronavirus restrictions.
Agents yarded about 975 cattle at the fortnightly store sale, well down on recent markets.
Good lines of well-bred weaner cattle with proven genetics were popular among repeat buyers while several feedlots were present filling orders.
Everitt Seeley and Bennetts auctioneer Jarrod Bennetts said essential buyers and agents representing clients had taken well to the new pandemic measures.
"We're working hard on social distancing and everyone was wearing the masks," Mr Bennetts said.
"People are still allowed to inspect cattle an hour before the sale and then they leave their orders with their preferred agent and then we had all the professional buyers come in after that."
Heavy steers sold to $2180 while weaner calves sold to $1470 and above 500 cents a kilogram in places.
"We had good support from local agents, a number of feedlots and South Gippsland agents but there we no out-of-towners," Mr Bennetts said.
D and B Noxton sold the dearest pen of the sale with five Angus steers, 572kg, for $2180 or 381c/kg.
D Moore, Heath Hill, sold 20 Angus steers, 530kg, for $2160 or 408c/kg.
Pattinson and Hutchinson sold 16 Angus steers, 321kg, for $1470 or 458c/kg and 14, 266kg, for $1380 or 519c/kg.
N and P Cunnington sold 14 Angus steers, 282kg, for $1390 or 493c/kg.
D and M Cunnington sold 23 Angus steers, 253kg, for $1340 or 530c/kg.
"It's good to see the vendors, the clients, the breeders, of these calves getting rewarded for the effort they put into the genetics of their cattle," Mr Bennetts said.
"We had six of our clients today all using the top Ballanee Angus genetics and repeat buyers were definitely trying to access those bloodlines, which pushed prices higher."
Alex Scott & Staff Pakenham agent Tim Gibson quoted the sale as "very strong" with a lighter yarding on previous weeks. He said steer calves ranged on average from 400-450c/kg, and higher in places.
Elders Pakenham livestock agent Carlo Toranto said the market firmed after a soft start.
"Buyers were apprehensive at first but the sale was well-supported by all of that trade and probably slightly dearer on previous sales," Mr Toranto said.
"I think the fact that there was a lack of numbers - half the amount we've yarded in recent sales - people were cautious.
"Numbers have started to fall out and I don't think anyone is purposely holding cattle but it's just a culmination of the current climate with coronavirus and the wet conditions."
A small offering of cows and calves sold to previous rates, agents said.
Elgee Park sold 24 Angus steers, 480kg, for $2050 or 427c/kg.
Sharples and Pompei sold 12 Angus and Angus Shorthorn-cross steers, 469kg, for $1880 or 401c/kg.
A and A Forte,Toninbuk, sold eight Charolais steers for $2170 and a second pen of 14 for $1910.
The Avenues, Flynn, sold 19 Angus steers, 361kg, for $1560 or 432c/kg.
A and AK McFarlane sold a pen of Angus steers, 340kg, for $1460 or 429c/kg.
A and J Willoughby sold 21 Angus steer weaners, 329kg, for $1470 or 447c/kg.
King Parrot Farm, Longwarry, sold 12 Charolais Angus-cross heifers, 239kg, for $1110 or 464c/kg.
Sharples and Pompei sold 15 Angus and Angus Shorthorn-cross heifers, 428kg, $1650 or 386c/kg.
MA McCormack and Sons, Caldermeade, sold 13 Angus heifers, 329kg, for 1300 or 395c/kg and 16 Angus heifers, 286kg, for $1200 or 419c/kg.
Pattinson and Hutchinson sold 20 Angus heifers, 294kg, for $1250 or 425c/kg.
J and S Pastoral sold 18 Angus heifers, 260kg, for $1180 or 454c/kg.
DG and AL Bates, Neerim East, sold 32 Charolais heifers including 10, 524kg, for $1900 or 362c/kg.
Their second pen of 12, 502kg, made $1960 or 390c/kg while their third pen of 11, 486kg, made $1920 or 395c/kg.