UPDATE: ANGUS steer weaners sold to $735 at Wodonga today in a tougher day out for vendors.
The offering of close to 6000 weaners was regarded as one of the biggest Angus offerings of its type ever in Australia, and few disputed the quality of the runs.
"The auctioneers did a hell of a job and had control of the sale," he said.
"There was virtually no northern support - it was the locals buying local cattle which kept prices where they were."
Much of the offering fell into the 330-400kg plus range, with heavier weaner steers hovering at the 170-185c/kg mark.
The National Livestock Reporting Service's Leann Dax quoted 330kg plus weaners making up to 196c/kg to average 180c/kg, with 280-330kg steer weaners selling to 209c/kg and averaging 192c/kg, while 200-280kg steers sold to 215c/kg and averaged 187c/kg.
The sale's best price was achieved by P and S Giles, whose heavy 436kg weaners made $735 or 169c/kg.
Perennial sale topper Sue Rae from Ournie was $10 away from the lead with her pen of 85 Angus weaners, 394kg, making $725 or 184c/kg.
Her second pen of 90 at $685 made the best price on a cents/kilogram basis of 196c, while the thirds, 26 at 332kg, made $645 or 194c/kg. The top pen were judged the best of the sale.
Ms Rae said her best steers last year made $890, so today's price was a $165 down.
"Last year was a bonus and this year is reality," she said.
"At these rates, it's only just enough to pay the bills."
Fellow vendor Brian Howell from Myrtleford was equally disappointed when his 403kg steer weaners made $675 or 167c/kg. Last year, his heaviest pen of steers, at 376kg, made $864 or 230c/kg and in 2011, the 359kg steers made $828 or 230c/kg.
"I am disappointed with how my heavy weaners sold but what can you do," he said.
The biggest vendors were the Manning family from Mansfield, who sold about 470 Angus steer weaners.
Their best dollar a head rate was $718 paid for 349kg, steers (181c/kg), with another 105, 356kg, making $694 (195c/kg).
Rod Manning said last year, the draft of weaners made to $860 and averaged $834 or an astonishing 270c/kg.
Despite the cattle being more than 20kg heavier this year, prices were back more than 70c/kg.
A philosophical Mr Manning said there was little he could do about the big price falls.
"The decision is made and we move forward," he said.
Heifers were again tough to shift, but orders from locals kept a basic floor in the market of about 140-150c/kg.
The best heifer weaner price was $670 paid for the tops of Phillip Star's future breeders, which were 422kg (159c/kg).
Some heifers did slip back to the 130-140c/kg price range.
Buying support was dominated by locals, but three or four commission buyers including Duncan Brown, Damien Whyte and Andrew Lowe secured numbers.
The action continues at Wodonga tomorrow with Euro, Hereford and black baldy calves to be sold.