Bakers Journal

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Average maple syrup harvest for the 2012 season


June 14, 2012
By CNW Group

June 14, 2012, Longueuil, QC – With an early and very hot spring, all
signs pointed to a rather poor maple syrup harvest in 2012. But the cool
beginning to April normalized regular sap flows throughout the eastern
province resulting in a bountiful harvest in those regions.

June 14, 2012, Longueuil, QC – With an early and very hot spring, all signs pointed to a rather poor maple syrup harvest in 2012. But the cool beginning to April normalized regular sap flows throughout the eastern province resulting in a bountiful harvest in those regions.

According to official data confirmed by the Table filière acéricole du Québec, the Quebec maple syrup crop for 2012 is regarded as average. The 42.8 million taps managed by Quebec's 7,400 maple businesses yielded a total volume of 96.1 million pounds of sap, slightly less than the exceptional and historic crop of 2009, which reached 109.4 million pounds. The production average in 2012 has been calculated at 2.24 pounds per tap, coming in above the 15-year average of 2.20 pounds per tap.

"What's special about this year? An early and brief sugaring season throughout the southern parts of the province. As well, maple syrup tends to be slightly darker due to the high temperatures," points out Serge Beaulieu, president of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. "On the other hand, in regions such as Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspesia, we've seen good yields with average taps of 2.62 pounds. This has allowed Quebec to produce enough syrup to meet the demand of the local and external markets."

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It should be noted that the American output has not been high with an estimated volume of around 18 million pounds compared to 31 million in 2011. Clearly, the high temperatures in March cut the sugaring season short south of the Canadian border. Official data for other Canadian provinces have not yet been released.

Stable strategic maple syrup reserve
At the close of 2008, the Quebec maple syrup reserve was depleted, which created a scarcity inflating the consumer price of maple syrup in 2009. The rich harvests of the past three years, combined with the slight surplus of the 2012 harvest, will ensure a stability of supply to consumers and therefore, stability of price. The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers has managed the world strategic maple syrup reserve for the past 12 years. Currently, it holds approximately 37 million pounds of maple syrup, or about 39% of the average annual Quebec harvest.

In 2009, a 540 ml can of maple syrup was selling in groceries for $8.54, whereas the average price fell to $8.32 by 2010, and then decreased further to $8.22 in 2011. Moreover, consumers can often get a better price by going directly to the producer and cutting out the 'middle man' if they wish. The average price of a can in 2012 will be published over the coming months once all the data has been collected.