Rising demand a drop in production have created a global maple syrup shortage that is forcing Quebec to dip deeply into its strategic reserve.
Quebec Maple Syrup Producers governs the province’s maple syrup production and will release 50 million pounds of maple syrup to the market by February 2022, said spokeswoman Helene Normandin. That volume, which represents half of the capacity of the reserve, is worth about $150 million.
“If we didn’t have a reserve, we would be in trouble,” said Normandin, per the Canadian Press. “But the reserve is exactly for this.”
Canadian maple syrup exports — most of which come from Quebec — have risen 21 per cent since January 2020. Normandin says last year’s warm winter say production drop around 40 million pounds compared to the prior year.
A contributing factor to the maple syrup shortage, as well as COVID-19 and the weather, is that the United States doesn’t have its own reserve and is digging into Canada’s.
Quebec produces nearly three-quarters of the global maple syrup supply and exports the product to more than 60 countries. Normandin said to avoid future shortages, an extra seven million trees over the next three years will be added to the 50 million that are tapped annually in the province.