Tight supplies and high demand pushed prices through the roof at saleyards last week, with all reporting significant price lifts for prime cattle.
Export prices are up 30 to 50 cents a kilogram on this time last year, leaving the domestic market behind.
Producers are being rewarded at the market for good quality finished lines.
The highest prices recorded for the week were in the bullock run, with Leongatha being the standout sale, reaching 360c/kg for a pen of exceptional bullocks weighing about 800kg.
Processors are prepared to go the extra mile to secure numbers of quality cattle as availability declines.
Victoria has become the standout state to source prime cattle due to the northern states continuing to experience drier conditions.
Prices lifted 7-18c/kg in some centres for bullocks.
Heavy bullocks at Pakenham sold between 355-359c/kg, to average a whopping 357c/kg.
Heavy grown steers have followed the upwards trend with both domestic and export processors sharpening their pencils.
Leongatha grown steers sold between 301-355c/kg, and at Wagga Wagga, NSW, steers were making between 316-345c/kg, lifting up to 24c/kg.
Veal at this time of the year is steady to hit the market.
Sale recorded 340c/kg for some Charolais heifers weighing more than 400kg.
Pakenham saw prices as high as 343c/kg for heifers, while vealer steers reached 330c/kg.
Pakenham stood out for a single pen of Euro steers reaching 353c/kg, while Wagga reached 334c/kg.
Bidding intensified at Wodonga, with a few pens of European bred heifers jumping 18c/kg to 356c/kg.
Feedlot and restocker buyers gained confidence from the strong prices for finished cattle and a promising outlook for a good spring.
They are upping the ante for quality young cattle suitable to feed or turnout.
Wagga reached 335c/kg for yearling steers on Monday going to feed and restockers paid up to 334c/kg.
Heavy beef cows continued to rise as producers took the opportunity to offload for outstanding returns.
Further price lifts of up to 20c/kg were recorded with Pakenham, reaching 304c/kg to average 298c/kg, while Wodonga averaged 267c/kg, selling between 252-292c/kg.
Further exceptional prices were recorded at Shepparton with heavy cows making between 269-308c/kg.