Industry insiders continue to question how tight cattle supplies could become in the coming months as large volumes of light-weaner cattle continue to enter store sales across Victoria, including at Bairnsdale on Friday.
Agents yarded about 2100 cattle for the fortnightly East Gippsland store sale in a market agents said featured well-bred lines of vendor-bred cattle, and some new bidding competition.
Quality generally improved compared to the previous fortnightly sale, agents said, as demand from restockers, breeders and feedlotters underpinned the sale.
Pens of light steer calves reached 800 cents kilogram, while young heifers also sold beyond 730c/kg.
Nutrien East Gippsland Livestock manager Brad Obst said the addition of one new western Victorian agent added an extra layer of competition at the sale.
"I thought we had a very good run of 400-kilo cattle that sold to good competition from both feedlotters and grass fatteners," he said.
"The strength of the light heifers was very good and they went to mainly restockers with a handful of the top end females bought by breeders."
Sharp Fullgrabe director Graeme Fullgrabe was "blown away" during the cow and calf sale after a pen of 10 Shorthorn/Hereford-cross cows with Angus calves at foot sold for $4520 per unit.
The pen was consigned by Penderscourt, Benambra.
"In 54 years in the agency game I've never sold commercial cattle for that price in my whole life," he said.
"They first started 12 months ago for $2000 a unit and we thought that was good money but over the last year they have risen to $4000 and that was very satisfying.
"We first sold the Penderscourt cows and calves 12 months ago for $2000 a unit and we thought that was good money but over the last year they have risen to more than $4000 and that was very satisfying."
The pen was bought by a breeder from Swifts Creek, while the losing bidder, a central Gippsland agent, has bought close to 40 cow and calf units from Penderscourt in the last 12 months.
Elders Bairnsdale livestock manager Morgan Davies said the sale featured a well-bred draft of feedlot-ready heifers, which sold above expectations.
"We had a few new feedlotters and backgrounders and a lot of the grown, older heifers, 16 to 18 months, suited those buyers," he said.
"A feature of our sale was the Nambrok Station heifers which weighed 341 kilograms and averaged $2160 across the draft.
"There were plenty of steers making 800c/kg plus so it was very strong."
Hurley Family Angus, Dargo, sold 15 Angus steers, 12 months, 372kg, for $2340 a head or 629c/kg and 19 Angus steers, 331kg, for $2270 or 685c/kg.
The family also sold 20 Angus heifers, 12 months, 336kg, for $2250 or 669c/kg.
J Stephenson, Mount Taylor, sold nine Angus-cross steers, 561kg, for $2980 or 531c/kg.
O Waller, Dargo, sold 15 Angus steers, 415kg, for $$2550 or 614c/kg and 16 Angus steers, 377kg, for $2460 or 652c/kg.
L Neeve, Forge Creek, sold nine Hereford steers, rising two-year-old, 500kg, for $2680 or 536c/kg.
P & K Lind, Mount Taylor, sold 10 Hereford steers, 16 months, 407kg, for $2520 or 619c/kg.
Buchan Station, Buchan, sold 12 Angus steers, eight to 10 months, 352kg, for $2210 or 627c/kg.
M Gibbs, Dargo, sold eight Angus steers, 405kg, for $2480 or 612c/kg, 15 Angus steers, 366kg, for $2450 or or 669c/kg and 13 Angus-cross steers, 369kg, for $2420 or 655c/kg.
B & J Traill, Dargo, sold 13 Angus steers, 423kg, for $2540 or 600c/kg and 18 Angus steers, 355kg, for $2350 or 661c/kg.
N Henderson sold 16 Angus steers, 281kg, for $2250 or 800c/kg.
Glenshiel Pastoral, Butchers Ridge, sold 17 Angus and Black Baldy steers, 389kg, for $2420 or 622c/kg.
Melrose Herefords, Cann River, sold 15 Hereford steers for $2340.
Riley Earthmoving, Clifton Creek, sold 15 Angus and Black Baldy steers for $2620 and 10 Angus steers for $2240.
In the heifer section, B Kuch, Darriman, sold 17 Angus heifers, 400kg, for $2220 or 555c/kg.
JCJ & LM White, Lindenow South, sold 16 Charolais heifers, 362kg, for $2250 or 621c/kg.
Lakeview, Meerlieu, sold 21 Angus heifers, 294kg, for $1890 or 642c/kg and 21 Angus heifers, 249kg, for $1850 or 742c/kg.
MV & ME Sears, Perry Bridge, sold 14 Hereford/Angus-cross heifers for $2350 and 14 Hereford heifers for $2140.
PA Smith, Omeo sold seven Hereford heifers, 10 months, 528kg, for $2200 or 416c/kg.
P & K Lind, Mount Taylor, sold nine Hereford heifers, 406kg, for $2050 or 504c/kg.
R & A Chilla, Wy Yung, sold 14 Angus heifers, 12 months, 354kg, for $2180 or 615c/kg.
Clonmore Angus, Wombat Creek, sold 24 Angus heifers, six to eight months, 224kg, for $1640 or 732c/kg.
A & K McFarlane, Buchan, sold 22 Angus heifers, 285kg, for $1950 or 684c/kg.
CWD Bennett, Clifton Creek, sold 19 Angus heifers, 239kg, for $1810 or 757c/kg.
Shaw Pastoral, Newry, sold 10 Angus heifers preg-tested-in-calf to an Angus bull to calve in January for $2220.
Wangarabell Station, Nicholson, sold seven Angus bulls ranging from $4000 to 3000.