OTTAWA — Canada’s maple syrup harvest hit a record high of 14.3 million gallons this year, despite shutdowns during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Statistics Canada says 2020’s harvest was 8.3 per cent higher than the 2019 record of 13.2 million gallons, pushing syrup sales up 7.9 per cent to $558.5 million this year.
The report says that exports of Canadian maple syrup jumped nearly 22 per cent compared with 2019 in the first nine months of the year, much faster than the gains of 3.2 per cent between 2018 and 2019.
Quebec producers saw the lion’s share of the gains, with yields falling in 6.2 per cent in New Brunswick, 6.9 per cent Ontario and 20.7 per cent in Nova Scotia.
Cancelled local festivals and breakfast events took a toll on smaller sugar shacks, but Quebec firms were boosted by good spring weather and more taps.
Statistics Canada says that Quebec, where prices are controlled by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, produces almost three-quarters of the global maple syrup supply, and accounts for 90 per cent of Canadian maple syrup production.