'Best sale ever' was a comment bandied about after today's Ballarat store cattle at the Central Victorian Livestock Exchange.
Steers weighing from 280 to 400 kilograms sold generally between $1200 and $1700 a head with a top of $1740. On a liveweight basis values ranged from 400 cents a kilogram to 460c/kg.
At the heavy end steers above 400kg sold to $2160 or 373c/kg for a pen weighing 579kg. Most in this category sold between $1560 and $2000.
There was only a few light steers weighing up to 280kg that sold between 440 and 481c/kg.
In the heifer pens heavy females sold to a top of $1960 or 351c/kg on a pen weighing 560kg. Most in this weight range sold from $1630 to $1830 or 350 to 400c/kg.
Heifers weighing 280 to 400kg sold to a top of $1550 or between $1200 and $1500. On a liveweight basis that equated to a range of 380 to 406c/kg.
Unweighed heifers sold in a range from $500 to $1230 while the unweighed steers made $700 to $1270.
Nutrien Ag auctioneer, Xavier Shanahan, Ballarat, said the sale was "extremely buoyant".
"Everything is going well. The fat market has taken a big lift, the season is good," he said.
He said it was great to take bids even under the coronavirus rules when the market "is this good".
He said there were a number of factors affecting the market. There was no doubt that there was lack of numbers on the eastern seaboard due to the drought; there is a rising fat market, and a perfect storm, he said.
"The fat market has come a long way in the past fortnight to three weeks," Mr Shanahan said.
There was competition from Gippsland and western Victoria as well as a number of commission buyers carrying multiple orders for NSW destinations.
Mr Shanahan said there was also keen demand from processors who competed strongly with feedlotters on heifers weighing "high 300s to high 400s".
He said the sale was dearer than a month ago,particularly heifers and grown steers.
Steers in the 300 to 400kg range were "as dear as I've ever seen them".
The yarding of 3800 cattle was "the best I've seen", TB White auctioneer Leo White said.
Mr White said it was a "terrific sale".
"I don't think I have seen heavy cattle so dear," he said.
"A lot of the heavier heifers made 370 to 390c/kg," he said.
"It was fantastic money right the way through. We've had a terrific late-summer and autumn and cattle put on a lot of weight."
The industry was in a good position with forward contractors for bullocks in June-July, he said.
Tops of the heavy steers was $2160 or 373c/kg for a pen of 10, 20-22 months, Murdeduke blood, sold account Phil and Narelle Douglas, Tynimille, Colac.
On a cents per kilo basis a pen of Carahil steers, 15 months, Rennylea blood, weighed 450kg and sold for 426c/kg, on a price of $1920, while Spring Creek Organics received 424c/kg for a pen of 19, weighing 455kg. A pen of nine, 438kg, sold account Ford, sold for 422c/kg.
A pen of 11, 15 months, 446kg, sold account La Rose, made 414c/kg on a price of $1850. The same vendor sold a pen of 20, weighing 338kg, that made $1450 or 428c/kg.
R & L Pike sold 12 Angus steers, 494kg, 16-18 months, Te Mania blood, that made $2010 or 406c/kg, while Nebpak sold 10, 475kg, that made $1930 or 406c/kg.
A pen of nine steers account Brown, 486kg, sold for $1980 or 407c/kg while 12 sold account Barrie, 484kg, sold for $1960 or 404c/kg.
T & P Missen sold a draft with eight steers, 18-20 months, weighing 481kg selling for $1930 or 401c/kg. Eighteen steers sold account E & A Stephens, Franc blood, 15-18 months, 510kg, sold for $2000 or 392c/kg.
E Richardson sold nine steers, 20-21 months, Murdeduke blood, 510kg, that made $2000 or 392c/kg.
Michael and Loretta Touhey, Kelso, Windermere, forwarded a consignment of 60 mixed sex Angus, 14 months, Anvil blood. The steer portion sold to $2100 for a pen of 11 at 544kg, while the heifers, weighing 550kg, sold to $1960 to average $1840.
Arrandale Estate forwarded mixed sex Angus, 8-12 months, High Spa blood. A pen of 18 steers, 358kg, sold for $1550 or 432c/kg.
G & J White consigned mixed sex weaners with the steer portion of 30 selling in two lines. The top price was $1430 for 16 at 335kg, of 426c/kg while the lighter pen of 14, 299kg, sold for $1300 or 434c/kg.
Weatherly Angus forwarded a pen of 22 steers, 7-8 months, Barwidgee blood, that weighed 327kg and sold for $1410 or 431c/kg.
In the heifers SJ Mullane & Sons sold five weighing 544kg, that made $1900 or 349c/kg, while Riverlea sold a pen of 13, 19-20 months, that weighed 499kg and sold for $1840 or 368c/kg.
HR Mann & Son sold 17 grown heifers, 477 for $1810 or 379c/kg, while Lilyvale Pastoral received $1760 for a pen of 12, 468kg, that came in at 376c/kg.
KJ & LM Britt sold 21 heifers, 404kg, that made $1610 or 398c/kg.
Twelve Limousin heifers, account I Lancashire & Sons, 451kg sold for $1760 or 390c/kg.
A pen of 13 Charolais-cross heifers, 388kg, sold account Swanview, made $1520 or 391c/kg.