LONGUEUIL, Que.—The Global Strategic Reserve of maple syrup in Quebec is down to less than 15 million pounds, officials said.
Of that, all of the remaining syrup is organic.
The drainage of the reserve comes after one of the shortest crops in Quebec in recent history, combined with reportedly all-time high demand for syrup across the globe and in the U.S. in particular.
Quebec’s maple harvest totaled 124 million pounds this season, the smallest crop in five years, off dramatically from 211 million pounds in 2022.
Still, officials for the Quebec maple federation did not seem concerned.
“We are confident of being able to replenish it following the emissions of 7 million taps in 2021 and 2023,” said Joël Vaudeville, spokesman for the federation.
“There will be no shortage of maple syrup in the short term,” Vaudeville told the Maple News this week.
The federation increased its government-sanctioned tap quota by 14 million taps—awarded in two seperate seven million tap allotments; the first in 2021 and again last spring—to accommodate the massive increase in syrup demand during the pandemic.
The federation estimates that four million of the first 7 million tap allotment have been installed so far.
Vaudeville said that more than 60 million pounds of maple syrup were bought out of the reserve before the 2023 season and that much of that is still in storage in U.S. warehouses.
That would include Bascom Maple Farms in Alstead, N.H. which has a syrup inventory to last until next June, according to owner Bruce Bascom.
“Presently the grocery chain buyers are in a tough anti-inflation mood so it is nearly impossible to raise store prices,” Bascom told the Maple News.
“Sales are flat in the U.S. and I predict bulk drum prices will remain at about the current levels that were paid last April,” he said.
The federation said it will be auditing its syrup holdings in the coming weeks.