A mammoth six-hour sale at Mortlake attracted strong feedlot and restocker competition as agents yarded 5200 cattle at the Western Victoria Livestock Exchange on Thursday.
Agents quoted the sale as firm-to-dearer in places, with good quality cattle presented for the monthly auction.
Grown steers sold to 476c/kg or $2539, weaner steers to 582c/kg or $1917, and medium-weight steers to 530c/kg or $2147.
Grown heifers sold to 450c/kg or $2100, weaner heifers to 508c/kg or $1888 and medium-weight heifers to 490c/kg or $1881.
Open auction heifers topped at $1100, while open auction steers sold to $1500.
Pregnant-test in-calf heifers sold to $2650, while Friesian steers fetched 420c/kg or $1747.
Overall, the 5200-head yarding averaged 373kg, 499.3c/kg and $1675 per head.
Outgoing Mortlake Stock Agents' Association president, Alister Nash, said grown steers opened cheaper than a month ago but once the sale kicked into swing, so did prices.
"The first lane and a half were probably a whisker cheaper than the last sale and then it got going again and found a new set of legs," Mr Nash said.
"Then we got onto the weaner steers and the tops of them were making well over 500c/kg, while the grown heifers were making 20 cents below their steer counterparts."
Gerard Conheady, Noorat, sold 62 Angus steer weaners to average 284kg and 549c/kg.
His top pen of 28 steers, 317kg, made 530c/kg or $1680 and his second pen of 15 steers, 270kg, made 582c/kg or $1572.
Huntley Pastoral, Pomborneit, sold 17 Angus steer weaners, 301kg, for 536c/kg or $1613.
Ryan Pastoral sold a draft of 121 weaner steers and 116 weaner heifers.
The steers averaged 351kg and 504c/kg. The top pen of 40 steers weighed 370kg and made 494c/kg or $1828.
The heifers averaged 327kg and 491c/kg. The top pen of 26 heifers made 351kg made 502c/kg.
Riverside, Camperdown, sold four Speckle Park cows with calves at foot, with the cows were rejoined to the same Speckle Park bull, for $5000.
The Riches Family, The Sisters, sold 38 Angus and Speckle Park weaner heifers, 8 months, 343kg, for 423c/kg or $1449 and 46 of their brothers, 376kg, for 444c/kg or $1670.
Hallmark Pastoral Company, Hamilton, sold 67 four- and five-year-old cows with six-to-10-week-old calves at foot for $3380.
Draffen Props, Ellerslie, sold 120 steer weaners, averaging 319kg and 472c/kg.
D & L Brown, Koroit, sold 86 Angus steers to average 301kg, and 523c/kg or $1630.
Major feedlots including Teys Australia, JBS, Australia Food & Agriculture and Ravensworth were operating.
"It's not the biggest we've had here - we had 5700 in April or May - but it was right up there," Mr Nash said.
"However, back then we had bigger runs of cattle but today lot sizes were a lot smaller. We ended up getting through close to 600 lots."
Elders Mortlake livestock manager Bruce Redpath said every pen at the WVLX was "chockers".
"There was an outstanding run of grown steers showing weight and condition which just amazed us because we were surprised so many grown steers were out there," Mr Redpath said.
Newly-elected Mortlake Stock Agents' Association president and Charles Stewart Mortlake manager, Matt Baxter, quoted the sale as dearer "especially on the younger cattle mainly due to better quality".
LMB Livestock auctioneer Bernie Grant said the market was comparable to recent sales and thought the heavy steers sold "extremely well".
Meanwhile JM Ellis & Co auctioneer Jack Hickey said the market was "bloody strong ... and held up well despite the large yarding".
Glencairn, Hamilton, sold 48 Black Baldy steers, 16-18 months, 457kg, for 460c/kg or $2106.
Derry Lodge, Macarthur, sold 23 steers, 24 months, 514kg, for 428c/kg or $2200.
Kenna & Blain, Terang, sold 31 Angus steers, 404kg, for 453c/kg or $1830.
AO & JA Burrows, Kariah, sold 40 Angus steers, EU accredited, 453kg, for 452c/kg or $2047.
Dunnawalla, Derrinallum, sold 25 Angus steer weaners, 365kg, for 484c/kg or $1766.
The Williamson family, trading as Fredell Park, Colac, sold nine grown Angus steers, 477kg, for 438c/kg or $2090.
Bullentuk, Gnotuk, sold 22 heifers, 453kg, for 455c/kg or $2061.
Boollora sold 18 Angus heifers, 338kg, for 440c/kg or $1487.
Woorabinda, Caramut, sold 32 heifers, 460kg, for 393c/kg or $1807 and 63 weaner heifers, 315kg, for 450c/kg or $1433.
Boortkoi, Hexham, sold 25 heifers, 500kg, for 392c/kg or $1958.
Dunnawalla, Derrinallum, sold 13 Angus heifers, 320kg, for 437c/kg or $1398 and their second pen of six, 279kg, for 456c/kg or $1272.
Matthews and Ford, Bessie Bell, sold 23 Belted Galloway weaner heifers, 263kg, for 527c/kg or $1504.
Hillsend, Penshurst, sold 10 Angus heifers, EU accredited, 411kg, for 442c/kg or $1816.
Cows and calves
Rose Park, Willatook, sold 10 Shorthorn cows and calves, with the cows rejoined to a Shorthorn bull, for $3500.