Quality lines of vendor-bred cattle contributed to a bidding frenzy at Bairnsdale on Friday during a sale where heavy steers sold above $2300.
Agents yarded 2500 cattle from across East Gippsland for the fortnightly store market, with buyers travelling from across Gippsland, northern Victoria and NSW to place orders on cattle.
Prices were fully firm on the first September sale despite a drop in local restocker activity, attributed to the drier conditions in eastern Victoria.
South Gippsland bullock fatteners underpinned the market while feedlot competition and northern orders helped maintain impressive prices for all lines of cattle.
The sale started with a draft of 40 two-year-old Angus steers sold by Dean Cameron, Castleburn, Dargo.
The first pen of 13 steers, 580 kilograms, topped the market at $2310 or 398 cents a kilogram. His second pen of 15 steers, 537kg, made $2190 or 407c/kg.
BG & JH Traill also offered a draft of heavy steers in the first line, ranging from 431-528kg, which made from $1700-$2150 or 314-407c/kg.
Selling agent Nutrien Bairnsdale auctioneer Brad Obst said it was one of the best yardings to pass through the complex in recent months.
"We've come off three or four years of drought and we haven't had the seasonal conditions to present cattle in the conditions how they are today," Mr Obst said.
"Dean Cameron's run of cattle are normally sold as calves but with the way the season was a year ago he sold his cows and kept his steers and he got rewarded for that today.
"The Trails usually fatten their steers but with the money on offer they decided to sell them."
Bindi Station, Bindi, topped the sale with the dearest pen on a cents per kilogram basis with 20 steers, 229kg, making $1355 or 591c/kg.
The draft of 65 Hereford steers, 10-12 months, included a top pen of 18 steers, 276kg, which made $1460 or 528c/kg, and a second pen of 27, 257kg, which sold for $1410 or 548c/kg.
Agents described the sale as a grass-fed market as feedlot operators were more selective with their orders.
Volume buyers included Nutrien South Gippsland Livestock which between a handful of agents purchased 250 steers for various clients in South Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley.
Don Bowman, Elders Korumburra, also bought 230 steers for bullock fatteners in South Gippsland after securing a large portion of cattle at Mortlake on Thursday.
Dan Ivone, Paull & Scollard Nutrien, made the trip over the mountain and bought 156 steers for clients in the Myrtleford region, while commission buyer Graeme Ward, Albury, NSW, bought 100 heifers for backgrounding for a feedlot in south-east South Australia.
Regular feedlot buyers, Peter Lee, Garrison Cattle Feeders, and Anthony Hullick, Westside Meats, were also active.
Elders Bairnsdale auctioneer Morgan Davies said the sale featured steers with more weight than a fortnight ago and estimated the yarding featured about 500 cattle in excess of 470kg.
"Our big brother, South Gippsland, certainly supported us again and we had a few northerners who were shocked by the rate of cattle down here," Mr Davies said.
"The sale was fully firm and we had plenty of heifers that were making 450-460 cents a kilogram last fortnight and the same thing happened today."
Coonmoore Pastoral, Lindenow South, sold a draft of 70 Angus steers, 12-14 months, which averaged $1820 or 459c/kg, including a top pen of 23 steers, 413kg, which made $1850 or 447c/kg.
Simon and Rowena Turner, Turner Partnership, Bindi, sold a draft of 80 Hereford steers and 20 heifers.
The top pen of 19 steers, 389kg, made $1760 or 455c/kg while 21 steers, 324kg, made $1600 or 493c/kg.
Dennis and Rosalie Stringer, Forge Creek, sold 11 Angus steers, 512kg, for $2220 or 433c/kg.
Meanwhile, Buchan Station sold 25 heifers, 244kg, for $1240 or 508c/kg.
Bill Wyndham & Co auctioneer Jake Fullgrabe said the yarding was the best he had seen at Bairnsdale in several weeks.
"Unlike a fortnight ago where we saw a lot of local bidders, that was not the case today," Mr Fullgrabe said.
"We're due for another rain up this end of the world so people are hesitant about what to do."
AJ, JP & R Simpson sold 15 steers, 369kg, for $1690 or 457c/kg, and 23, 295kg, for $1560 or 528c/kg.
Romano Produce sold 17 steers, 314kg, for $1710 or 544c/kg.
ATM Ag sold 19 steers, 252kg, for $1430 or 567c/kg.
Riseley Cont sold three steers. 676kg, for $2370 or 350c/kg.
K & K Skews sold 24 Hereford steers, 334kg, for $1690 or 505c/kg.
Smith Graziers sold 12 steers, 286kg, for $1490 or 520c/kg and 21, 271kg, for $1460 for 538c/kg.
W McInnes sold nine steers, 562kg, for $2280 or 405c/kg.
P Smith sold 12 Hereford steers, 552kg, for $2270 or 403c/kg.
CR and YM Connley sold 10 steers, 375kg, for $1730 or 461c/kg.
G Smipson sold 20 Hereford steers, 283kg, for $1410 or 498c/kg.
CJ Treasure sold 17 Hereford steers, 274kg, for $1390 or 501c/kg.
Mrs CA McKenna sold 17 steers, 274kg, for $1430 or 521c/kg.
Romano Produce sold 15 heifers, 318kg, for $1420 or 446c/kg.
Keiley & Baton sold 24 heifers, 320kg, for $1380 or 431c/kg.
The Gums sold 25 heifers, 297kg, for $1320 or 444c/kg.
DS O'Brien Partners sold 20 heifers, 286kg, for $1290 or 451c/kg, and 22, 252kg, for $1230 or 488c/kg.
PJ Commins sold 12 Hereford heifers, 262kg, for $1140 or 435c/kg.
J & W Gilmore sold four heifers, 224kg, for $1040 or 464c/kg.
Brad Row sold 14 heifers, 299kg, for $1300 or 434c/kg.
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