STAT Communications Ag Market News

Record Canadian Maple Syrup Harvest

OTTAWA - Dec 10/20 - SNS -- Maple syrup production in Canada totalled a record 14.3 million gallons this year, up 8.3% from the 13.2 million gallons produced last year, according to Statistics Canada.

The increased production resulted in total sales of $558.5 million in 2020, up 7.9% from a year earlier. To limit the spread of COVID-19 in the early stages of the pandemic, producers in Quebec implemented new processes affecting the delivery of maple syrup barrels, equipment cleaning and inter-regional transportation.

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, maple producers were forced to cease in-person visits to farms and other activities of their business that normally draw large crowds, to comply with physical distancing measures. Some producers turned to on-line and telephone sales as maple syrup festivals, maple weekends and spring events were cancelled.

Canadian producers exported just over one-fifth (+21.7% or 1.3 million gallons) more maple syrup during the first three quarters of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019. This was a marked acceleration from 2019 when 3.2% more maple syrup was exported year over year.

Importers of Canadian maple syrup stocked up in 2020, as 7.3 million gallons of syrup was exported over the first three quarters of 2020, compared with 6.0 million gallons during the same period in 2019.

High Production in Quebec

Quebec producers, who account for almost three-quarters of global maple syrup production and 90% of Canadian production, harvested 13.2 million gallons in 2020, up 9.8% from 2019. Higher yields, due to favorable spring weather and more taps, accounted for the higher production. Prices in Quebec are controlled by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, which helps stabilize the price year to year. The price in Quebec remained at $38.55 per gallon and the total value of maple products was $509.2 million.

Following higher than average yields in 2019, production fell in the other maple-producing provinces of New Brunswick (-6.2% to 560.9 thousand gallons), Ontario (-6.9% to 467.4 thousand gallons) and Nova Scotia (-20.7% to 55.5 thousand gallons) in 2020.

The impact of COVID-19 shutdowns was felt in New Brunswick as local festivals and breakfast events were cancelled, resulting in small producers not being able to sell their usual/expected amount of syrup. Sugar shacks and small operations accounted for about one-fifth of New Brunswick production. New Brunswick producers sold $20.6 million worth of maple syrup, 11.1% less than a year earlier. Producers received $2.05 less per gallon in 2020 compared with a year earlier, for an average of $36.78 per gallon.

Producers in Nova Scotia produced $2.8 million worth of maple syrup, down by one-quarter (-25.9%) from a year earlier, in part due to lower production and lower prices for bulk syrup.

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