LONGUEUIL, Que.—It’s official. A short crop in Quebec and the provincial governing body regulating maple may allot more taps to cover the shortfall.
The Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) federation reported its 6,314 sugarmaker members made 133 million pounds of syrup. Producers in the province put out 48.3 million taps.
The warm temperatures experienced across Québec in April brought about an unusual occurrence: all maple syrup producing regions saw their harvest seasons begin – and end prematurely – at the same time.
Meanwhile, the Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve holds enough stock to meet the industry’s short-and medium-term needs for “conventional” product, the federation said.
In April, federation officials said the reserve held 106 million pounds in barrels, some of which are from crops as far back as 10 years ago.
However, stocks of organic syrup are declining. QMSP will be discussing allotting additional quotas so that producers can address that demand, the group said.
“We’ll be analyzing maple syrup sales and make projections for what we’ll need going forward. This will help us assess whether new quotas are in order,” said QMSP president Serge Beaulieu.
As for the harvest being poorer than last year’s, Beaulieu said not to worry.
“I’ve been making maple syrup for over 40 years. I’ve seen bad harvests, average harvests, and exceptional harvests, like we had in 2020,” he said. "These are the realities of the profession. Yes, it can hit the producer’s bottom line. That’s why it’s important to have crop insurance. But also remember: producers get paid for their syrup when it’s sold from the reserve.”
Conseil de l’industrie de l’érable president Sylvain Lalli foresees no drop anywhere in consumer demand for 2021.
The pandemic had absolutely no downward effect on the appetite for maple syrup in any market.
Bulk buyers snapped up 147 million pounds from the federation last year, an increase of more than 14 percent from the year previous.
Foreign exports in 2020, meanwhile, rose 21.9 percent over 2019 and, according to statistics for the first few months of 2021, sales are holding strong and look promising for the rest of the year, the federation said.