MORRISVILLE, Vt.—The downturn in the bulk market continues.
Producers should expect a flat and possibly declining bulk market for 2020, with overflowing inventories from last season and a Canadian exchange rate that continues to be unfavorable for U.S. producers.
“We have reduced our buy price this fall to reflect the adequate inventory we have from our usual suppliers,” said David Marvin, president of Butternut Mountain Farms in Morrisville, Vt., one of the biggest bulk buyers in the nation.
“I expect the carryover inventory and weak Canadian dollar will cause downward pressure on the 2020 crop if it is another big one.”
Prices to producers hover between $2.00 and $2.10 per pound with some delivery premiums and bonuses for organic syrup, which is increasing in demand.
Carryover from the 2019 is expected to be big, with the crop far bigger than the government census, buyers said.
“ US syrup production in 2019, due mostly because of favorable weather, was much greater than the government crop report,” said Bruce Bascom of Bascom Maple Farms in Alstead, N.H., another big bulk buyer.
“I expect a moderate carryover of unsold drums mostly at Bascom & Butternut.”
Consumer demand continues to be strong, but maybe a bit slower growth pace.
“I think US syrup consumption is slowly growing of perhaps 5-7% per year or less,” Bascom said. “I continue to be long term optimistic and believe that the U.S. industry will double its production again but this time it may take another 15 years.”
Store prices are dropping too.
Due to cheap Canadian dollar exchange rates, Canadian syrup in the U.S. markets is holding down U.S. store retail syrup prices and indirectly U.S. bulk prices, Bascom said.