Mother Nature has been very good to the maple industry for three years in a row. This year, most all maple producing regions reported higher production. The US production is the largest in 70 plus years.
The numbers below are based on government reports:Quebec: 102,000,000 lbs.
|United States: 30,734,000 lbs.|
|Including:||% of US production|
|New York||6,204,000 lbs||20.2%|
Canadian carryover from 2010 was 19,000,000 lbs (last year's total US/CAN production was 111,000,000 lbs).
With a Worldwide market growing to 120,000,000 lbs. we have plenty of supply.
The United States crop was great. This may be due to an increased number of trees tapped as opposed to high volume per tap but just the same, a lot of syrup was produced in the US. US farmers have been expanding rapidly due to the high prices and good ROI.
Canadian sugarmaker's results are also strong.
The 2011 production of 140 million pounds combined with a 19 million pound hold over from last year means we have a lot of syrup. The obvious question is: Will prices go down? The quick answer, no. An overview of the maple industry may be helpful. The maple industry in the province of Quebec is controlled by the farmer's union (The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers). Every autumn they negotiate prices with large syrup buyers, for the next spring's crop. Last fall they raised prices a few percentage points (depending on the grade). That, combined with the falling value of the dollar vs. the Canadian dollar will push up the cost of maple syrup.
You could ask "What if I buy only US syrup?" US farmers aren't fools and know what the going rate for syrup is in Canada and they don't think they should sell it for anything less. Additionally, a couple of Canadian buyers come to the US and pay the going rate of Canadian syrup. They don't necessarily need the syrup, it just sets a precedent for US pricing that is equal to Canadian pricing therefore, no advantage to the buyers on the US side.
Our farm in Alstead, NH had a good year producing nearly 263,500 lbs of organic syrup from about 67,000 trees. We would have had a little bit more but a January ice storm took about 2500 trees out of production for the year.
I'm optimistic in continued growth of the maple market Worldwide. Total units sold last year grew 6%. Bascom Family Farms is aggressively expanding markets as consumers and manufacturers Worldwide are driving up demand for pure maple. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.