Autumn-drop calves sold beyond 850 cents a kilogram at Leongatha on Friday, peaking at 904c/kg in a market underpinned by restockers with plenty of grass.
Agents yarded about 3000 cattle for the fortnightly South Gippsland store cattle sale at the Victorian Livestock Exchange, where several vendor-bred consignments sold above vendors' expectations.
Reduced feedlot competition affected prices slightly, agents said, while regular grass finishers and bullock fatteners were out in force chasing suitable lines of cattle.
Elders Leongatha and Korumburra livestock manager Rohan McRae said restocking demand, including from grass finishers and northern orders, underpinned the sale.
"I thought the sale was really strong, apart from the heavy cattle 650kg-plus, which may have eased a bit, but the lighter weaner cattle were fully firm," he said.
"There's strong demand on the well-bred weaners but at the same time, there's a lot more heavier cattle and those older cattle have a lot more weight and that's reflective of the fat market too."
A feature of the sale was a consignment of 130 Angus/Murray Grey-cross steers, 13-15 months, consigned by Bart and Tracie Dowling, Mirboo, which sold to a top price of $2340, or 843c/kg at the lightest end.
The Dowling's draft included 22 steers, 309kg, which made $2340 or 757c/kg, 24 steers, 272kg, for $2260 or 830c/kg, 26 steers, 291kg, which made $2280 or 783c/kg, and 31 steers, 249kg, for $2100 or 843c/kg.
Jasmel Nominees, Tarwin Lower, sold three pens with a total of 49 steers, 380kg, for $2450 or 644c/kg.
At the lighter end of the sale, George Wade, Willow Grove, sold 27 Angus steers, 8-9 months, including a pen of 13, 260kg, for $1830 or 700c/kg and 14 steers, 188kg, for $1700 or a whopping 904c/kg.
Several light-weight steer pens sold beyond 800c/kg including Micah Berry, Wonthaggi, who sold 42 Angus steers, 9-10 months, including a pen of 21, 283kg, for $2290 or 809c/kg.
Mr Berry also sold 21 steers, 311kg, for $2310 or 742c/kg.
Richard Crooke, Holy Plains, sold two pens of yearling-off cattle including 12 steers, 445kg, for $2500 or 561c/kg, and 21 steers, 432kg, for $2500 or 578c/kg.
GS & J Tuckett, Woodside, sold 18 weaner steers, 420kg, for $2710 or 645c/kg and 16 steers, 394kg, for $2600 or 636c/kg, along with 18 Angus heifers, 345kg, for $2240 or 649c/kg.
P & J Sibly, Archies Creek, sold 19 steers, 387kg, for $2540 or 656c/kg, and 19 steers, 342kg, for $2320 or 678c/kg.
WA Cleeland, Phillip Island, sold 14 steers, 319kg, for $2280 or 714c/kg.
Alex Scott & Staff Leongatha auctioneer Dane Perczyk said breeders' cattle sold beyond market expectations, but small pens of cattle and those lots presenting in secondary condition sold to an overall softer trend.
"Overall, it's still very strong on all your good cattle and the well-bred steers and heifers, and sometimes I reckon it might be off a bit if there's a bit of paint in the pen," he said.
He said well-bred black steers around 320kg sold for more than $2300, indicating there was strong demand for weaner cattle, while heifers in places made almost as much on a cents a kilogram basis as their brothers.
"We sold Angus heifers weighing 336kg which made $2320 or 690c/kg and you could buy steers in places for the same cents a kilogram," Mr Perczyk said.
"As you can see, there's so much demand in the heifer job because people are trying to restock."
At the heavier end of the sale, C Board sold 16 steers, 698kg, for $3150 or 451c/kg, while Krowera Cattle Co sold 33 steers, 665kg, for $3200 or 481c/kg.
M Rowles, Flynn, sold 12 Charolais steers, 565kg, for $2700 or 477c/kg, and another 12 steers, 515kg, for $2800 or 543c/kg.
K & J Shea, Leongatha, sold 16 Hereford steers, 660kg, for $3010 or 450c/kg, while Woorra Park, Mardan, sold 10 steers, 676kg, for $3100 or 458c/kg.
D Schnoor, Leongatha, sold 14 steers, 574kg, for $3020 or 526c/kg.
I & R Ripper, Stratford, sold 18 steers, 634kg, for $3000 or 473c.kg, while P & H Norman, Archies Creek, sold 15 steers, 558kg, for $3010 or 539c/kg.
Nutrien South Gippsland Livestock manager Brian McCormack said the sale was "flat" in places, largely due to the quality of cattle on offer.
It comes as Nutrien SGL will hold a feature store sale on December 10, featuring 4000 grown and weaner mixed-sex cattle.
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"There were a few good runs of cattle and they sold quite alright, but there was also a lot of secondary cattle as well," Mr McCormack said.
"There were a few feedlot orders that weren't there and that definitely had an impact on those types of cattle."
In the heifer section, D & K Belcher, Woodside, started the female sale with four Herefords, 374kg, for $2060 or 550c/kg.
G & L Simmons, Woodside, sold 10 heifers, 269kg, for $1650 or 613c/kg.
G & M Parker, Ryanston, sold three heifers, 500kg, for $2600 or 520c/kg, and five heifers, 437kg, for $2480 or 567c/kg.
KJ & MH Garrett, Rosedale, sold 27 heifers, 336kg, for $2100 or 625c/kg and seven heifers, 338kg, for $2320 or 686c/kg.
S Brae, Hallston, sold 15 Angus heifers, 394kg, for $2460 or 624c/kg and 12 Angus heifers, 341kg, for $2300 or 674c/kg.
Malabar, Tarwin Lower, sold 19 Angus heifers, 364kg, for $2320 or 637c/kg, eight Black Baldy heifers, 358kg, for $2180 or 608c/kg and 10 Angus heifers, 332kg, for $2100 or 632c/kg.
S & L Campbell, Mardan, sold 10 Angus heifers, 371kg, for $2290 or 617c/kg.
J & C Brennan, Tarwin, sold 27 Angus heifers, 288kg, for $1850 or 642c/kg.
T & L Butcher, Allambee, sold 16 Angus heifers, 306kg, for $1970 or 643c/kg.
G & C Hosking, Woodside, sold 25 Angus heifers, 260kg, for $1820 or 700c/kg.
Account Rendell, Yarram, sold 17 heifers, 360kg for $2180 or 605c/kg.
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The story Leongatha light Angus calves sell to 904c/kg in 3000-head sale first appeared on Stock & Land.