Weaner cattle from across West Gippsland and the Yarra Valley rivaled presentation and prices compared to those sold in the Western District and north-east of the state, agents say.
Pakenham agencies Nutrient Delaney Livestock and Property and Alex Scott & Staff yarded 1850 cattle for the feature weaner sale, where calves sold to 628 cents a kilogram.
The revised yarding was about 1200 head down due to tight supply, favourable seasonal conditions - allowing producers to hold onto cattle for longer - and vendors offloading cattle earlier than usual due to the buoyant market conditions.
Alex Scott & Staff livestock manager David Setches said it was the dearest sale he had witnessed at the Victorian Livestock Exchange at Pakenham since its inception.
"There was a buying crowd here which had to be seen to be believed," Mr Setches said.
"The quality was exceptional and again feedlots were very active and so too were South and West Gippsland backgrounders and fatteners."
Pre-Christmas, vendors feared if they retained their lcalves for the January sale, prices could fall from the highs paid towards the end of 2020.
However, that was not the case with the lead drafts of calves weighing 420 to 430 kilograms, up by 50 to 60 kilos on last year, agents said.
"People who ran these cattle over Christmas to gain extra weight were definitely rewarded," Mr Setches said.
"Cattle went to all points of the compass and interstate so there was a vast buying fraternity."
"We were getting over 500 cents a kilogram for feeder-weight heifers and steers between 300 to 350 kilos made up to 540c/kg."
Nutrien Delaney Livestock & Property director Anthony Delaney said heifers sold to similar or equal rates of their brothers.
"It was a terrific result and we had an excellent local and Yarra Valley-run of breeders' cattle and they sold to rates equal if not better in some spots compared to other sales around Victoria," Mr Delaney said.
"The run of Angus cattle were equal to everywhere else but our run of Charolais and Euro-cross calves certainly sold beyond expectation going to both local feedlots and Gippsland grass fatteners."
How the cattle sold
A feature of the sale was 134 mixed-sex Angus, Black Baldy and Hereford calves, seven to eight months, consigned by Bergamin Pastoral Co, Willow Grove.
The first pen of 16 steers, 250kg, made $1570 or 628c/kg, 13 Angus and Black Baldy steers, 261kg, made $1570 or 601c/kg and 12 Hereford steers, 250kg, made $1500 or 600c/kg.
In the heifer portion, 15 Black Baldy heifers, 283kg, made $1580 or 530c/kg, 25 Angus heifers, 231kg, made $1450 or 555c/kg and 20 Angus heifers, 235kg, made $1370 or 582c/kg.
"This was the Bergamin's second draft of calves after they opted to sell their first run in December," Mr Setches said.
"The tops of their first draft were up to 340kg and the drafts we sold at the weaner sale were 70 to 80 kilograms lighter but made more than 100c/kg than the first draft in December."
Another feature line included Yarra Valley monastery Tarrawarra Abbey, Yarra Glen, which sold 173 mixed-sex Angus Charolais-cross and Angus weaners to average $1783.
The first pen of 22 steers, 393kg, made $2000 or 508c/kg and a second pen of 22, 373kg, made $1900 or 509c/kg.
P & L Burgi, Gruyere, sold 83 Charolais-cross calves including 27 steers, 375kg, for $1900 and a second pen of 11 steers, 270kg, for $1590 or 588c/kg.
Mayneline Angus, Whittlesea, sold 83 mixed-sex Angus calves, 10 to 11 months, including 51 steers and a top pen of 20 which weighed 428kg and made $2010 or 469c/kg.
The second draft of 22 steers, 383kg, made $1900 or 496c/kg, while the third draft of 10 steers, 334kg, made $1730 or 517c/kg.
In Mayneline Angus' heifer run, 32 heifers, 367kg, made $1720 or 468c/kg and 12 heifers, 331kg, made $1670 or 504c/kg
Geoff Murray, Nar Nar Goon, sold 13 heifers, 14 months, 415kg, for $1720 or 414c/kg and 11 heifers, 10 months, 381kg, for $1690 or 435c/kg.
Meanwhile, Graeme Fankhauser, Drouin West, sold 28 Angus steers, 18 to 20 months, including 14, 617kg, for $2390 or 387c/kg and another 14, 471kg, 16 months, for $1850 or 392c/kg.
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.