Heavy cattle were highly sought-after by feedlots and processors at Pakenham on Thursday during a market where prices rose across the board despite and smaller and more mixed yarding.
Agents yarded 1500 cattle for the fortnightly store sale and generally agreed prices were stronger despite an overall yarding with less quality and condition.
The inclusion of a major volume buyer selecting cattle for Hopkins River Feedlot saw prices rise by 10 to 15 cents a kilogram on heavier cattle.
The dearest pen of grown steers was sold by Abbots Pastoral, Avenel, which weighed an average of 705 kilograms across the eight steers.
The pen sold for $2650 or 375 cents a kilogram and was purchased by Hopkins River.
The company also sold another four steers, 602kg, for $2290 or 380c/kg.
Light weaner cattle were scarce with prices for small calves rising to 571c/kg for a pen of six steers by PC & DF Whelan, Trafalgar, 238kg, which made $1300.
Farm Creek Pty Ltd, Trafalgar, sold six steers, 238kg, for $1300 or 513c/kg.
Heifers were also hard to come by but made as much as steers in places selling on average for 375-415c/kg.
Nathan Gibbon Livestock auctioneer Nathan Gibbon said the sale was underpinned by stronger feedlot competition.
"I think that our bigger cattle were 20 to 40 cents dearer," Mr Gibbon said.
"We had similar buyers but we're further into spring and there's more feed about."
Feedlot demand stepped up a notch on a fortnight ago as restocking demand eased due to fewer suitable lines of cattle.
Among the dearest pens of heifers on a cents per kilogram basis, M Phillips, Nar Nar Goon North, sold 13 heifers, 296kg, for $1385 or 467c/kg.
Meanwhile, J Daniel, Flinders, sold 12 heifers, 304kg, for $1400 or 460c/kg.
Nutrien Delaney Property & Livestock auctioneer Anthony Delaney said despite the lower quality yarding, every agent still yarded "decent pens of cattle".
"We saw a lift on this sale compared to a fortnight ago but it was a little bit lacklustre last sale due to the clash of sales on that day," Mr Delaney said.
"We saw feedlot competition die off a bit last week and restockers picked up the slack but today it was very even.
"Feedlots that were independently owned supplying processors and processors who are active in feedlots were competitive and then we've seen a big drive from South Gippsland and locally to secure cattle."
He said cattle heavier than 500kg made on average 400c/kg or above.
"We had 32 mils of rain last night so it's still very wet but people are selling surplus cattle and are keeping what they can to fatten because it's hard to replace them," Mr Delaney said.
Clyde McTaggart, Green Acres, Catani, sold a draft of 64 mixed sex Charolais and Charolais Hereford-cross mixed sex calves, 9-12 months.
His dearest pen of eight heifers, 346kg, made $1400 or 404c/kg while 18 heifers, 288kg, made $1360 or 472c/kg. He also sold four steers, 317kg, for $1320 or 416c/kg.
In the cows and calves section, David Rosenquist, Ripplebrook, sold one Limousin second calver with a calf at foot for $3460. The unit was bought by Clyde McTaggart, Green Acres, Catani.
S Budgter, Kyneton, sold nine Angus second calvers with calves at foot for $3220 and a second pen with four cows with calves at foot for $2900.
Elders Pakenham auctioneer Michael Robertson said the yarding offered a broad selection of cross-bred, straight-bred and heavy cattle, 450-500kg, which made above 400c/kg.
"We had some really nice black Angus heifers which sold from 385 to 400c/kg and weighed 440 to 470 kilograms and that would have been 10 cents up on last fortnight," Mr Robertson said.
Alex Scott & Staff Pakenham auctioneer David Setches said additional feedlot support helped prop up the market.
"Heavier cattle gained 10 to 15 cents a kilogram and those lighter cattle were anything up by 15 to 20 cents in places," Mr Setches said.
Tanjil Valley Welding, Tanjil South, sold 17 Angus steers, 425kg, for $1780 or 418c/kg.
T & L Hatch, Athlone, sold 15 Angus steers, 330kg, for $1420 or 430c/kg.
G & J Browne, Longwarry, sold seven Charolais-cross steers, 385kg, for $1620 or 420c/kg.
M & S Reedy, Garfield North, sold 25 steers, 543kg, for $2170 or 399c/kg, and another five, 437kg, for $1840 or 421c/kg.
JJJ Pastoral Pty Ltd sold 10 steers, 388kg, for $1650 or 425c/kg.
West Creek Investments, Yarragon, sold 11 steers, 472kg, for $1830 or 381c/kg.
Joroka Pty Ltd, Fish Creek, sold 14 steers, 354kg, for $1530 or 432c/kg.
Klindy Nom Pty Ltd, Flinders, sold seven steers, 322kg, for $1570 or 487c/kg.
C Coleman, Bittern, sold seven steers, 319kg, for $1560 or 489c/kg.
DG & LL Jeffery, Taggerty, sold five steers, 400kg, for $1750 or 437c/kg.
Kingston Park, Merricks North, sold 10 steers, 17-18 months, 462kg, for $1980 or 428c/kg.
Noack Farms, Jindivick, sold seven steers, 445kg, for $1850 or 415c/kg, and eight, 395kg, for $1750 for 443c/kg.
R Thompson, French Island, sold eight steers, 510kg, for $1980 or 388c/kg.
J Daniel, Flinders, sold 16 steers, 322kg, for $1590 or 493c/kg.
DG Brown, Neerim East, sold 14 steers, 562kg, for $2220 or 395c/kg.
RW & PE Wuchatsch, Nar Nar Goon, sold 16 steers, 440kg, for $1850 or 420c/kg, and 12, 385kg, for $1690 or 438c/kg.
Dalmore Park, Dalmore, sold six steers, 278kg, for $1350 or 481c/kg.
Roanda Farms Pty Ltd, Thorpdale, sold 10 Charolais-cross heifers, 300kg, for $1330 or 443c/kg, and 17 Simmental-cross heifers, 420kg, for $1760 or 420c/kg.
Klindy Nom Pty Ltd, Flinders, sold four heifers, 300kg, for $1300 or 400c/kg.
Malanda Pastoral, Stradbroke, sold 15 Hereford heifers, 303kg, for $1290 or 425c/kg.
J Guest, Wildwood, sold 16 heifers, 465kg, for $1850 or 397c/kg.
Geoff Murray, Nar Nar Goon, sold one Charolais Friesian-cross first calver with a calf at foot for $2460.
Have you signed up to Stock & Land's daily newsletter? Register below to make sure you are up to date with everything that's important to Victorian agriculture.