Canadian maple syrup production plummets while honey output down 2.9 per cent

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says maple syrup and honey production this year fell to their lowest levels in three years.

The agency said Wednesday maple syrup production fell by 21.7 per cent to 44.5 million litres in 2018, while honey production was down 2.9 per cent to 42 million kilograms.

Quebec produced 40.4 million litres of maple syrup, down 22.4 per cent from 2017 due to unusually late snow and cold, while New Brunswick output fell 34.5 per cent to 1.6 million litres.

Maple syrup production was down in every syrup-producing province except Ontario and Nova Scotia.

Output in Ontario rose 9.4 per cent to 2.1 million litres, the most since 2011, while Nova Scotia produced 250,000 litres of maple syrup in 2018, 54,500 litres more than in 2017 when production was low due to unfavourable weather conditions.

The total value of Canadian maple products fell 22 per cent to $384.4 million while the price of syrup remained relatively unchanged.

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers tapped its strategic reserves this year to avoid wild price swings or supply shortages.

Quebec produces about 72 per cent of the world’s maple syrup, with the rest of Canada producing eight per cent and the United States producing 20 per cent.

Statistics Canada said honey production was down from 43.2 million kilograms a year ago, while the value of honey rose 3.4 per cent to $196.6 million.

The number of beekeepers reached a 21-year high of 10,629 with the number of bee colonies hitting a record high of 796,764.

Alberta was the leading honey producing province, accounting for 41 per cent of the country’s output, followed by Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

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