Heavy and well-bred cattle were in hot demand at Colac during its annual blue ribbon steer weaner sale on Thursday.
South-west Victorian restockers set the tone for the sale, bidding on top lines of cattle while Landmark International snapped up lighter and middle-weight steers.
A yarding of 2020 cattle was offered by vendors as heavier weaner steers 370-410 kilograms made on average between 290-310 cents a kilogram.
A broad offering of lighter calves saw prices on cattle 310-350kgs make between 280-330c/kg.
The top pen of 30 Angus steers, owned by Mark and Leah Jacob, Dreeite which weighed 368kg made $1320 or 358c/kg.
Charles Stewart Dove Colac director/auctioneer Shelby Howard said cattle were a fraction lighter compared to their 2019 weaner counterparts.
"The cattle presented very well and there was years and years of breeding in the cattle we sold today," Mr Howard said.
"We had some well-bred names here that people and clients in the area have bought the cattle year in, year out because of the breeding.
"But on average the sale was back a little bit on last year and that's due to a very good result last year, however, it was still very sustainable."
Bushfires burning in East Gippsland and drought affecting the north-west and eastern parts of the state is understood to have lowered confidence, agents said.
HF Richardson Geelong/Colac auctioneer Matt Sculley said most of the cattle sold to local grass fatteners.
"The heavy calves were very strong but there were certainly some chances as the sale went on for the lighter cattle," he said.
"The sale was cheaper and not as consistent as last year, however, it's what we expected and in some places were dearer that what we expected.
"Some people will be very pleased while others thought they might have got a bit more."
An ordinary start to autumn in south-west Victoria contributed to the drop in weight, however, a good winter and spring improved the condition of cattle on offer.
Charles Stewart & Co Ballarat/Colac auctioneer Jamie McConachy said despite environmental factors, such as fires and drought, the sale was "quite pleasing".
"We only saw one buyer from Gippsland, one from Pakenham and nothing from the south-east so we relied heavily on local support and that was the winning ticket here today," Mr McConachy said.
"With so much feed south of us here, that was the underlying situation here."
"As we decreased in weight, we increased in cents and we were up to 320-325 very quickly so we would have averaged around that $3 a kilo mark in the weighed section which is what we were aiming to do."
The Colac weaner heifer sale will be held on Monday, January 6, from 10am.
Lariggan Angus sold a pen of 28 steers, 364kg, for $1160 or 318c/kg.
J and D Osbourne sold 18 steers, 361kg, for $1130 or 313c/kg.
MY and VA Hasting sold 20 steers, 350kg, for $1180 or 337c/kg.
MA Howard sold 14 Angus steers, 353kg, for $1100 or 311c/kg.
Moonmoote sold the first pen of 44 Hereford steers, 366kg, for $1030 or 281c/kg.
P and J Lenehan sold seven Angus steers, 350kg, for $990 or 282c/kg.
Cloverleigh sold 23 Angus steers for $810.
D and B Schroeter sold six Speckle Park Angus-cross steers, 309kg, for $905 or 292c/kg.
JH Smith & Sons sold 10 Angus steers, 374kg, for $1180 or 315c/kg.
G Brown sold 10 Angus steers, 383kg, for $1170 or 305c/kg.
Bellerson sold 16 Angus and Angus-cross steers, 377kg, for $1030 or 273c/kg.