A promising forecast and a rebounding market created a buoyant mood at the Longreach sale yards on Friday, with the town hosting its first store sale in almost five years.
Although there was some interest from restockers in flood-affected north west Queensland, the vast majority of activity came from backgrounders and south east Queensland feedlot operators.
Santa Gertrudis-type backgrounder steers topped the sale at 308 cents per kilogram, with prices for number 8 steers across the sale consistently above 290c/kg.
On offer were 6000 composite steers from the Australian Agricultural Company's Brunette Downs property in the Barkly Tablelands.
Elders Longreach branch manager Tim Salter said the sale went "extremely well".
"I don't think these cattle would have made any more going east, that's for sure," he said.
"The best cattle went for just a bit over 300 cents per kilogram, and there were a lot of cattle around 295 c/kg."
Mr Salter said the sale ran like clockwork despite the long layoff since the yards last hosted a store sale.
"Everything was running like a well-oiled machine, just like it did five years ago."
David Harris from AACo said the company was chuffed with the results of the sale.
"We offered up cattle that we thought were going to sell strongly and they have," he said.
"Cyclone Trevor is on the radar, so that's probably helping us, and there's been a bit of rain in southern and western Queensland, so timing is everything I suppose."
Mick Hyland from Elders in Julia Creek bought 277 steers for clients in the north west, which was recently swamped by floods.
Many producers would be keeping a hopeful eye on the cyclone for some follow-up rain, he said.
"The cattle were presented in good, strong store condition.
"I was mostly buying those red-type cattle, a mix of Santa Gertrudis and Droughtmaster cross."
Noted northern cattleman and campdraft stalwart Evan Acton also bought 277 steers, which will be sent to the Paradise Lagoons property in Rockhampton.
"I bought mostly Santa Gertrudis and some Droughtmaster cross," Mr Acton said.
"The cattle are coming off dry country, so I think they should do well."
Next week Landmark will be running another special store sale in Longreach, offering 4500 Droughtmaster, Droughtmaster-cross and composite cattle from Australian Green Properties and AACo.