THE third mountain calf sale at Ensay today produced the best results so far of the Gippsland high country sales.
But like yesterday's sales values were still well short of last year's record highs.
Steers at Ensay topped at $935 while heifers reached $890 and the stronger prices reflected a high quality yarding Hereford cattle.
The Ensay sale, which yarded 1775 head, traditionally achieves the top prices of the mountain sales and seemed to have stronger competition from buyers and agents.
In a repeat performance, Phil and Kerry Geehman, of Ensay, topped the sale with $935 for a pen of 20 Hereford short horn cross steers, sold a Pakenham buyer.
Mr Geehman said his steers reached $1090 last year, but said prices 12 months ago were "exceptional".
"We are happy with our prices, (the market) is still quite strong . . . there has to be a bit more of a gap between stores and prime prices," Mr Geehman said.
They just pipped Barry and Topsy Newcomen for the top pen, whose 22 steers weighed on farm at a 440kg average, reached $920 or 209c/kg.
Arthur Angliss, of Romsey, snapped up the first four pens of the sale, which included the Newcomen's top steers, paying an average $890 for 101 head.
Mr Angliss has been buying Barry, and his brother Evan Newcomen's, cattle for 15 years and wanted good quality European Union accredited steers to fatten for the bullock market.
"The EU is a good market to be in, there is a premium for EU cattle but you have to buy good cattle to meet the requirement," Mr Angliss said.
Mr Angliss said while he had to pay "good money" for the steers the price reflected the market price.
A pen of 22 short horn cross Herefords from Evan and Dot Newcomen topped the heifer calves at $890, while Barry and Topsy’s females reached $860 and both went to Gippsland buyers.
First time visitor to the Gippsland mountain sales Jimmy Young of Alexandria bought 23 of Barry and Topsy's heifers for $760.
Mr Young said prices seemed to be up about $40 a head on yesterday's Benambra Hereford sale, but said the Ensay yarding was better quality.
"I reckon the price was right up there, but the cattle was superb and exactly what I needed," Mr Young said.