Restockers have outbid feedlotters at the annual Kerr and Co feature spring cattle sale, at the WVLX, Mortlake.
Agents yarded 2335 head of cattle, with a strong contingent of buyers from Gippsland, the south-east and locally.
Michael Kerr said grass fatteners were starting to realise that, after Christmas, the supply of grass fed cattle was likely to dry up.
"In the western district, south-east South Australia and Gippsland the season is one of the best we have seen," Mr Kerr said.
"The people who were buying all have cattle to sell, in the next month or two, and those cattle in the sale were grown animals, not weaners.
"They can turn them off fairly quickly."
Mr Kerr said there was still a lot of optimism in the cattle job.
"Once it rains, even prime cattle are going to be very scarce," he said.
Craig Pertzel, Kerr and Co, said feedlotters had previously been the cornerstone of the sale.
"Some of the feature lines of 16-18month cattle made up to 315-318c/kg, which was 5-10c/kg dearer than expectations, and up to 320c/kg for the really good Hereford steers," Mr Pertzel said.
"In the Murray Grey section, the Greenhills steers, 16-18mths EU accredited, made in excess of 330c/kg, with repeat buyers purchasing these cattle."
Feature lines of spring drop steers, from Kilkenny, Eulo, Pardoo and other properties, sold well above expectations, topping around 345c/kg.
"Most of these better runs of calves made around 335-340c/kg, which was very satisfactory," Mr Pertzel said.
"Overall the heifers were probably 10c/kg better than expectations, with the heavier cattle selling from 275-285c/kg.
"One pen that was presumably going back to the bull made around 300c/kg."
Spring drop heifers mostly made from 260-280c/kg.