Statistical Overview of the Canadian Honey and Bee Industry, 2020

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Overview

Beekeeping is an important agricultural industry in Canada, producing honey and other hive products, and delivering valuable pollination services to farmers of orchard fruits, many berries, vegetables, forage, and the production of hybrid canola seed. In 2017, AAFC estimated that the total annual economic contribution of honey bee pollination through direct additional harvest value was about $2.57 billion. When the estimated contribution of honey bee pollination to the production of hybrid canola seed is added, the total estimated contribution ranges from $4.0 to $5.5 billion per year.

The 2020 beekeeping season was affected by the disruptions in travel and transportation related to COVID-19. Limited travel options for Seasonal and Temporary Foreign Workers prevented or delayed the arrival of the workforce critical to beekeeping operations. COVID-related transportation disruptions affected the supply of imported replacement queen and package bees. These important supplies are shipped from a limited number of approved places including Australia, New Zealand, Chile, California, and Hawaii for queens; and Australia, New Zealand, Chile for 'package' bees (a few pounds of worker bees and a mated queen bee to be placed in a hive box on arrival). These replacement bees complement domestic supplies, and typically arrive in the early spring to address hive losses and replace weak queen bees after the winter has passed.

Honey production in Canada in 2020, by volume, fell 4.3% from a year earlier to 82.9 million pounds. The spring of 2020 revealed higher than average over winter hive losses in Alberta with loss rates of 40.5% in a year where the national average of 30.2%. These losses coincided with COVID-related disruptions to the supply of some imported replacement bee supplies, notably for package bees. The total honey harvest by volume was at its lowest in eight years. Despite this, thanks to sustained robust prices for honey, the total value of the 2020 harvest rose 14.9% (over 2019) to $208.8 million.

 

1. Production

While beekeeping businesses operate in all provinces, the majority of honey bee colonies in Canada are kept in the Prairies, where long summer days and a favourable crop mix are ideal for foraging. Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba collectively accounted for 67% of the country's total honey bee colonies and for 80% of total honey production by volume. Alberta contributed the most to Canada's overall honey production (36%), followed by Manitoba (25%) and Saskatchewan (19%).

Honey producers in Alberta had 9.5% fewer producing colonies in 2020 compared to a year earlier, partially due to poor spring and early summer conditions, as well as higher than average over-winter losses. Production fell 4.8% from a year earlier to 29.9 million pounds in 2020. COVID-19 related transportation challenges reduced the available labour supply and curtailed the number of imported package bees arriving from New Zealand and Australia to approximately one third of the quantity ordered arriving in Canada. Imported replacement queen bees were somewhat less affected, with over 80% of the orders arriving on time. In 2020, Saskatchewan saw an estimated year-over-year reduction in total honey bee colonies of 13% with a reduction in the total honey harvest by volume of 23%. In contrast, over the same period, Manitoba saw a rise in the total number of colonies by 3% and an increase in the total honey harvest of 13% by volume.

There were 11,785 beekeepers in Canada in 2020, up 1,262 from a year earlier and almost two-thirds higher compared with a decade earlier. This increase is driven by higher honey prices and sustained levels of public interest in beekeeping and pollinators. As well, the industry has relatively low cost barriers to entry, and offers a natural scalability for growing the operation, where successful.

Despite the year-over-year decrease in total national honey production of 4.3%, the total value of honey sold rose 14.9% to $208.8 million as tightened international supply pushed world prices higher. Producers received an estimated national average price of $2.52 per pound for their honey, up from $2.10 per pound a year earlier, an increase of 20.1%.

 

1.1 Number of beekeepers[1] by province

Number of beekeepers by province
  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
Prince Edward Island 40 46 50 50 30 0%
Nova Scotia 451 604 631 690 796 7%
New Brunswick 351 374 388 415 450 4%
Quebec 384 402 425 440 440 4%
Ontario 2,896 3,331 3,026 2,506 2,856 24%
Manitoba 662 746 834 905 914 9%
Saskatchewan 1,150 1,044 1,059 1,101 1,050 10%
Alberta 1,453 1,420 1,572 1,653 1,604 16%
British Columbia 2,640 2,640 2,676 2,763 3,645 26%
Canada[2] 10,027 10,589 10,661 10,523 11,785 100.0%
Notes:

[1] Beekeeper numbers may include pollinators that may not extract honey.
[2] Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has limited beekeeping.
Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0353-01 Production and value of honey

 

1.2. Number of colonies[1] by province

Number of colonies by province
  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
Prince Edward Island 4,920 6,300 4,453 3,591 4,250 0.6%
Nova Scotia 31,080 26,426 25,446 25,716 21,600 2.9%
New Brunswick 7,000 7,100 8,141 4,120 4,307 0.6%
Quebec 64,426 61,020 60,439 66,700 54,000 7.2%
Ontario 97,342 105,244 100,413 90,675 101,989 13.7%
Manitoba 102,030 111,802 114,098 114,668 118,697 15.9%
Saskatchewan 112,000 115,000 114,000 115,000 100,000 13.4%
Alberta 309,000 317,000 311,000 314,800 285,000 38.2%
British Columbia 39,885 40,776 52,033 55,781 56,769 7.6%
Canada[2] 767,683 790,668 790,023 791,051 746,612 100.0%

Notes:
[1] Colony numbers may include pollinators that may not extract honey.
[2] Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has limited beekeeping.
Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0353-01 Production and value of honey

 

1.3. Number of beekeepers and number of colonies by province

Description of this image follows.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0353-01 Production and value of honey

Description of the image above.

Number of beekeepers and number of colonies by province

Province Number of beekeepers 2020 Number of colonies 2020
Prince Edward Island 30 4,250
Nova Scotia 796 21,600
New Brunswick 450 4,307
Quebec 440 54,000
Ontario 2,856 101,989
Manitoba 914 118,697
Saskatchewan 1,050 100,000
Alberta 1,604 285,000
British Columbia 3,645 56,769
 

1.4. Total honey production[1] by province – thousands of pounds

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
Prince Edward Island 162 231 168 181 159 0.2%
Nova Scotia 588 553 522 390 389 0.5%
New Brunswick 287 201 469 218 176 0.2%
Quebec 4,507 3,723 4,472 3,963 3,526 4.3%
Ontario 8,880 6,087 8,174 7,963 8,527 10.3%
Manitoba 15,202 19,120 18,710 18,350 20,650 24.9%
Saskatchewan 22,848 21,965 20,520 20,240 15,700 18.9%
Alberta 40,170 40,576 38,564 31,418 29,925 36.1%
British Columbia 1,934 3,556 3,397 3,907 3,843 4.6%
Canada[2] 94,578 96,012 94,996 86,630 82,896 100.0%

Notes:
[1] Production excludes inventory.
[2] Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has limited beekeeping.
Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0353-01 Production and value of honey

 

1.5. Production value[1] of honey by province – thousands of Canadian dollars

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
Prince Edward Island 445 666 393 423 332 0.2%
Nova Scotia 1,686 1,586 1,574 1,073 810 0.4%
New Brunswick 661 511 1,430 666 548 0.3%
Quebec 15,074 15,120 16,655 15,408 13,000 6.2%
Ontario 31,966 20,257 34,329 29,437 36,241 17.4%
Manitoba 21,000 32,268 32,786 32,997 48,938 23.4%
Saskatchewan 27,418 34,045 33,858 32,384 31,400 15.0%
Alberta 62,388 71,359 66,472 58,188 63,715 30.5%
British Columbia 8,622 14,292 13,320 11,040 13,780 6.6%
Canada[2] 169,260 190,104 200,816 181,615 208,763 100.0%
Notes:
[1] Value excludes inventory sales except for in Quebec.
[2] Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has limited beekeeping.
Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0353-01 Production and value of honey
 

2. Trade

Demand for Canadian honey continues to grow from both domestic and import markets. While Canadian beekeepers routinely produce more honey than can be consumed domestically, a growing proportion of Canadian production is consumed domestically, which reduces surpluses available for export. With a reduced total harvest in 2020, this further reduced the volume of honey available for export. In 2020, exports of Canadian honey totaled $47 million, down 12% from 2019.

In 2020, in terms of value, honey exports to Japan rose 33% compared to 2019, surpassing exports to the United States to which exports fell 42% during the same period. In fact, exports to Japan accounted for 50% of total exports in 2020 while these exports only accounted for 33% in 2019. On the other hand, exports to the United States accounted for 41% of total exports in 2020 compared to 62% in 2019. The Canadian industry has been working with a number of export markets to diversify and grow export sales volumes and price premiums resulting in changes in export patterns.

Canada imported $43 million worth of honey by value in 2020, down 6% from 2019. Honey from New Zealand topped the list of imported honey by value with a total import value of $14 million. Most imports from New Zealand are specialty mono-floral honey produced from the nectar of the Manuka tree which commands exceptionally high prices. Brazil, the largest source of imported honey in terms of volume, was the second largest source in terms of value with $6 million. Most honey imported from Brazil was organic honey.

In the spring and early summer of each year Canadian beekeepers import replacement queen bees and 'package' bees from a short list of approved source regions and countries to supplement domestic production. In recent years beekeepers imported about 40,000 'packages' annually of replacement bees to rapidly rebuild hive numbers in the spring. In 2020, COVID-19 related transportation challenges curtailed the number of imported package bees arriving from New Zealand and Australia resulting in beekeepers receiving about 14,000 packages, or one third of the total quantity of package bees ordered. Imported replacement queen bees were less affected, with over 80% of the orders arriving on time, primarily from Hawaii and California.

 

2.1. Trade balance

2.1.1. Canada's honey trade balance – thousands of Canadian dollars

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Export 71,838 76,986 78,011 53,827 47,371
Import 38,064 41,284 36,787 45,396 42,567
Trade Balance (Exports − Imports) 33,774 35,702 41,224 8,431 4,804
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, March 2021)
 

2.2. Exports

2.2.1. Canada's honey exports by province[1] – by value (thousands of Canadian dollars)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
Prince Edward Island 78 0 0 0 2 0.0%
Nova Scotia 61 126 15 60 113 0.2%
Quebec 6,158 5,446 4,602 4,098 6,200 13.1%
Ontario 2,212 3,864 6,362 5,722 2,527 5.3%
Manitoba 17,060 19,310 13,033 11,943 16,407 34.6%
Saskatchewan 11,346 19,928 20,511 11,097 7,230 15.3%
Alberta 33,433 27,150 31,749 19,735 14,387 30.4%
British Columbia 1,490 1,160 1,739 1,172 506 1.1%
Canada 71,838 76,986 78,011 53,827 47,371 100.0%
Notes:
[1] Exports may include honey not produced in that province.
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, March 2021)
 

2.2.2. Canada's honey exports by province – by volume (metric tonnes)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
Prince Edward Island 14 0 0 0 1 0.0%
Nova Scotia 7 22 2 7 20 0.2%
Quebec 1,021 1,006 838 611 965 10.4%
Ontario 378 828 1,219 1,006 398 4.3%
Manitoba 4,580 5,242 3,160 2,959 3,358 36.1%
Saskatchewan 3,551 5,541 5,127 2,735 1,630 17.5%
Alberta 8,113 6,372 7,958 4,358 2,852 30.6%
British Columbia 215 186 284 171 85 0.9%
Total 17,879 19,196 18,587 11,847 9,309 100.0%
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, March 2021)
 

2.2.3. Canada's top 10 honey export destinations – by value (thousands of Canadian dollars)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
Japan 17,045 12,432 12,643 17,884 23,735 50.1%
United States 50,894 60,878 62,005 33,615 19,363 40.9%
China 2,396 1,981 1,903 1,403 1,648 3.5%
Hong Kong 271 460 347 154 688 1.5%
South Korea 559 550 696 503 671 1.4%
Germany 0 1 81 0 580 1.2%
Saudi Arabia 10 1 0 0 113 0.2%
United Kingdom 0 0 0 0 93 0.2%
India 95 366 2 0 70 0.1%
Kuwait 84 23 13 5 60 0.1%
Others 484 293 321 263 350 0.7%
Total 71,838 76,986 78,011 53,827 47,371 100.0%
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, March 2021)
 

2.2.4. Canada's top 10 honey export destinations – by volume (metric tonnes)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
Japan 3,719 2,799 2,785 3,575 4,362 46.9%
United States 13,553 15,762 15,221 7,872 4,143 44.5%
China 323 323 326 209 295 3.2%
South Korea 105 109 124 128 135 1.4%
Hong Kong 40 72 55 19 120 1.3%
Germany 0 0 20 0 117 1.3%
Saudi Arabia 1 0 0 0 21 0.2%
Pakistan 0 0 0 0 20 0.2%
Greece 0 0 0 0 15 0.2%
United Kingdom 0 0 0 0 15 0.2%
Others 138 131 57 45 66 0.7%
Total 17,879 19,196 18,587 11,847 9,309 100.0%
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, March 2021)
 

2.3. Imports

2.3.1. Canada's honey imports by province – by value (Canadian dollars)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
Nova Scotia 2,062 8,467 2,151 73,381 3,314 0.0%
New Brunswick 216 7,236 30,121 6,999 0 0.0%
Quebec 13,932,715 12,355,678 10,782,748 10,816,955 11,302,033 26.6%
Ontario 17,958,821 24,630,510 19,685,017 27,542,742 24,398,345 57.3%
Manitoba 305,147 71,679 15,403 44,322 28,442 0.1%
Saskatchewan 13,854 4,800 20,361 69,443 531 0.0%
Alberta 1,165,645 27,557 837,443 737,141 824,615 1.9%
British Columbia 4,685,144 4,178,387 5,413,726 6,104,441 6,009,636 14.1%
Total 38,063,604 41,284,314 36,786,970 45,395,715 42,566,916 100.0%
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, March 2021)
 

2.3.2. Canada's honey imports by province – by volume (kilograms)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
Nova Scotia 317 790 420 21,805 787 0.0%
New Brunswick 51 291 3,193 316 0 0.0%
Quebec 3,417,813 2,633,238 2,501,286 2,896,369 3,079,785 43.1%
Ontario 2,476,506 3,585,028 2,306,117 3,150,676 3,658,983 51.2%
Manitoba 39,739 9,204 1,176 5,224 2,460 0.0%
Saskatchewan 936 313 1,359 2,333 176 0.0%
Alberta 223,966 3,407 24,264 24,591 25,546 0.4%
British Columbia 400,887 418,136 369,337 409,923 374,815 5.2%
Canada 6,560,215 6,650,407 5,207,152 6,511,256 7,142,552 100.0%
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, March 2021)
 

2.3.3. Canada's top 10 sources of honey imports – by value (Canadian dollars)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
New Zealand 7,120,281 9,560,170 12,759,495 17,470,382 14,122,496 33.2%
Brazil 10,515,234 7,384,459 4,226,571 6,882,630 5,859,961 13.8%
United States 4,207,803 2,667,256 3,213,364 2,539,091 4,930,800 11.6%
India 1,550,297 2,017,945 2,315,223 3,397,364 3,341,630 7.9%
Australia 3,629,420 3,102,488 3,008,351 3,110,225 2,718,950 6.4%
Thailand 808,688 1,855,794 4,011,223 3,476,340 2,450,216 5.8%
Spain 3,024,203 3,120,697 1,490,462 2,606,030 2,012,699 4.7%
Greece 1,171,384 1,226,620 1,290,162 1,282,118 1,439,014 3.4%
Viet Nam 547,875 900,211 480,712 275,952 1,355,986 3.2%
Saudi Arabia 780,354 951,138 958,894 1,297,348 989,351 2.3%
Others 4,708,065 8,497,536 3,032,513 3,058,235 3,345,813 7.9%
Total 38,063,604 41,284,314 36,786,970 45,395,715 42,566,916 100.0%
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, March 2021)
 

2.3.4. Canada's top 10 sources of honey imports – by volume (kilograms)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
Brazil 2,134,017 1,279,957 912,555 1,809,262 1,748,100 24.5%
United States 652,406 468,534 566,482 574,633 1,147,664 16.1%
India 429,116 505,506 745,286 1,091,658 1,079,458 15.1%
Thailand 230,849 483,515 970,078 891,102 699,513 9.8%
Viet Nam 164,054 325,886 215,813 129,324 544,362 7.6%
Spain 646,681 734,823 314,974 529,098 415,875 5.8%
New Zealand 298,498 346,451 344,490 412,172 331,467 4.6%
Greece 164,416 177,721 137,907 142,338 255,182 3.6%
Australia 393,654 333,891 324,098 279,490 223,110 3.1%
Saudi Arabia 79,207 103,937 101,790 129,518 91,015 1.3%
Others 1,367,317 1,890,186 573,679 522,661 606,806 8.5%
Total 6,560,215 6,650,407 5,207,152 6,511,256 7,142,552 100.0%
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, March 2021)
 

2.3.5. Canada's sources of (package) honey bee imports – by value (Canadian dollars)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
New Zealand 3,002,526 1,510,369 1,278,340 1,988,220 951,273 84.7%
Chile 0 316,067 651,930 167,180 86,400 7.7%
Australia 559,584 331,206 853,887 1,255,269 84,870 7.6%
Denmark 9,428 0 0 0 0 0.0%
Total 3,571,538 2,157,642 2,784,157 3,410,677 1,122,557 100.0%
Notes:
Package bees are sold in a variety of sizes typically one pound, two pound and three pound packages. No detail on the individual numbers of different package sizes is available.
Does not include queen bees and live bees that are not honey bees.
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, March 2021)
 

2.3.6. Canada's sources of queen bee imports – by value (Canadian dollars)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
United States 6,316,094 7,138,232 7,111,970 7,177,805 7,313,155 91.0%
New Zealand 81,787 63,232 884,234 103,034 318,928 4.0%
Chile 91,396 217,937 225,279 504,080 143,554 1.8%
Italy 0 0 0 0 136,325 1.7%
Australia 145,681 265,108 212,140 191,143 106,147 1.3%
Others 0 2,767 14,166 0 22,001 0.3%
Total 6,634,958 7,687,276 8,447,789 7,976,062 8,040,110 100.0%
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, March 2021)
 

3. Consumption

While consumption of sweet condiments has generally declined due to health-related concerns, natural honey is one exception. The availability of honey for consumption was up 3.1% annually to 0.98 kilogram in 2020, spurred by higher imports (+9.7%) and lower exports (-22.0%), despite lower production (-4.3%).

3.1. Honey available[1] for consumption in Canada – kilograms per person

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Honey[2] 0.93 0.90 0.85 0.95 0.98
Notes:
[1] Food available per person is calculated by dividing the domestic disappearance by the Canadian population as of July 1st of the reference year, at the retail level.
Domestic disappearance represents the total food available for human consumption from the Canadian food supply chain.
Total Supply = Beginning stocks + Production + Imports
Domestic Disappearance = Total supply − Exports − Manufacturing − Waste − Ending stocks
[2] Does not adjust for losses, such as waste and/or spoilage in stores, households, private institutions or restaurants or losses during preparation.
Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0054-01 Food available in Canada
 

4. World data

The largest exporter of honey is China in terms of volume. Due to the much higher prices paid for Manuka honey, New Zealand is the exporter with the highest total value of honey exported, despite being ranked 13th in terms of volume. Canada currently ranks 16th as an exporter in terms of value and volume.

The United States is the largest importer of honey by value and volume, purchasing supplies from a wide range of countries at all quality levels for both table consumption and ingredient uses. European countries are significant importers of honey, with Germany importing the largest amount. Japan, Saudi Arabia and China are also significant importers.

Globally, China is by far the largest producer of honey. In 2019, China's production accounted for 26% of total world production. In the same year, Canada ranked 12th globally and accounted for only 2% of total world production.

 

World trade data

4.1.1. Top exporters of honey worldwide – by value (thousands of Canadian dollars)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
New Zealand 271,606 348,666 317,420 304,314 440,858 15.0%
China 367,884 350,287 322,762 311,714 340,959 11.6%
Argentina 223,089 238,189 226,370 194,508 230,082 7.8%
Germany 181,575 182,095 182,512 176,548 195,792 6.6%
Ukraine 129,046 172,619 127,788 134,398 185,340 6.3%
Spain 144,399 142,967 137,123 117,471 150,682 5.1%
Brazil 121,581 158,802 123,790 90,692 132,113 4.5%
Hungary 91,497 116,502 111,907 107,558 116,398 3.9%
India 93,744 135,573 132,635 134,046 111,235 3.8%
Belgium 95,213 100,054 101,168 83,907 100,349 3.4%
Mexico 123,115 136,753 156,140 90,040 91,148 3.1%
Poland 48,517 55,680 55,787 57,899 83,184 2.8%
Romania 55,099 67,107 63,658 56,262 65,866 2.2%
Australia 41,146 39,680 42,220 48,164 54,412 1.8%
Bulgaria 42,999 62,839 54,701 53,611 53,273 1.8%
Canada 72,315 78,650 79,278 54,824 48,072 1.6%
Others 516,749 579,539 559,838 507,959 547,110 18.6%
Total 2,619,573 2,966,004 2,795,094 2,523,916 2,946,873 100.0%
Source: Global Trade Tracker (March 2021)
 

4.1.2. Top 10 honey-exporting countries, 2020

Description of this image follows.

Source: Global Trade Tracker (March 2021)

Description of the image above.
Country Canadian dollars (in thousands)
New Zealand 440,858
China 340,959
Argentina 230,082
Germany 195,792
Ukraine 185,340
Spain 150,682
Brazil 132,113
Hungary 116,398
India 111,235
Belgium 100,349
 

4.1.3. Top exporters of honey worldwide – by volume (metric tons)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
China 128,330 129,274 123,478 120,845 132,469 18.8%
Ukraine 57,027 67,907 49,461 55,769 80,872 11.5%
Argentina 81,183 70,321 70,576 65,242 71,564 10.2%
India 35,793 52,980 58,231 65,351 54,834 7.8%
Brazil 24,201 27,053 28,524 30,039 45,728 6.5%
Germany 24,116 24,433 22,788 25,320 28,902 4.1%
Spain 26,874 24,751 23,110 22,471 28,263 4.0%
Mexico 29,098 27,723 55,674 26,901 27,485 3.9%
Poland 14,759 15,843 14,705 16,837 24,691 3.5%
Belgium 20,660 19,720 19,835 18,298 22,381 3.2%
Hungary 17,403 22,260 20,932 19,389 19,087 2.7%
Uruguay 7,716 9,186 5,803 7,904 15,836 2.3%
New Zealand 9,626 11,038 9,024 9,455 14,358 2.0%
Romania 10,371 12,250 10,509 10,497 13,187 1.9%
Bulgaria 9,001 13,302 10,719 12,950 12,831 1.8%
Canada 17,954 19,462 18,836 12,082 9,426 1.3%
Others 94,528 108,750 102,229 94,903 101,710 14.5%
Total 608,640 656,252 644,435 614,254 703,625 100.0%
Source: Global Trade Tracker (March 2021)
 

4.1.4. Top importers of honey worldwide – by value (thousands of Canadian dollars)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
United States 559,415 739,697 627,811 553,182 592,247 20.3%
Germany 370,790 406,723 396,781 338,773 365,479 12.5%
Japan 209,152 185,433 188,619 191,607 233,619 8.0%
France 168,814 169,489 168,414 157,575 173,007 5.9%
United Kingdom 158,725 169,545 166,461 147,531 161,580 5.5%
Saudi Arabia 55,392 86,795 99,313 99,935 140,765 4.8%
China 96,505 118,605 91,170 112,618 119,264 4.1%
Italy 96,028 106,654 130,572 105,873 112,117 3.8%
Poland 67,407 76,031 81,355 84,181 105,502 3.6%
Belgium 98,383 103,308 94,877 85,284 94,359 3.2%
Spain 86,542 99,535 87,984 76,217 88,430 3.0%
Netherlands 76,543 79,273 84,481 70,282 87,278 3.0%
Australia 58,956 59,244 69,352 48,783 55,041 1.9%
Switzerland 46,995 47,447 51,507 47,995 50,209 1.7%
Canada 38,064 41,284 36,787 45,396 42,576 1.5%
Others 454,326 508,984 470,900 441,111 500,142 17.1%
Total 2,642,038 2,998,048 2,846,384 2,606,341 2,921,612 100.0%
Source: Global Trade Tracker (March 2021)
 

4.1.5. Top 10 honey-importing countries, 2020

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Source: Global Trade Tracker (March 2021)

Description of the image above.
Country Canadian dollars (in thousands)
United States 592,247
Germany 365,479
Japan 233,619
France 173,007
United Kingdom 161,580
Saudi Arabia 140,765
China 119,264
Italy 112,117
Poland 105,502
Belgium 94,359
 

4.1.6. Top importers of honey worldwide – by volume (metric tons)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 % Share
United States 166,442 202,565 187,624 178,913 196,642 27.2%
Germany 84,287 93,070 85,980 82,203 88,066 12.2%
United Kingdom 41,279 46,092 50,590 48,830 52,654 7.3%
Japan 48,445 42,821 44,521 44,788 49,348 6.8%
Poland 24,419 26,449 25,726 29,802 37,343 5.2%
France 35,630 35,570 32,302 32,818 34,820 4.8%
Spain 27,988 31,871 27,942 26,801 31,690 4.4%
Belgium 26,571 25,925 24,915 24,861 28,148 3.9%
Saudi Arabia 12,185 16,294 16,969 18,512 23,529 3.3%
Italy 22,568 23,602 27,875 23,580 22,304 3.1%
Netherlands 17,393 16,341 16,846 15,115 18,299 2.5%
Greece 2,773 5,747 7,617 8,576 8,815 1.2%
Portugal 5,486 7,457 6,270 7,553 8,464 1.2%
Switzerland 7,884 8,192 8,229 8,240 8,098 1.1%
Australia 8,634 8,621 6,873 4,784 8,010 1.1%
Ireland 4,117 4,899 5,389 6,540 7,338 1.0%
Canada 6,560 6,650 5,207 6,511 7,144 1.0%
Others 82,772 91,342 79,309 78,749 92,246 12.8%
Total 625,432 693,509 660,183 647,178 722,957 100.0%
Source: Global Trade Tracker (March 2021)
 

4.2 World production

4.2.1. Top producers of honey worldwide[1] – by volume (metric tons)

  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2019 % Share
China 473,000 555,000 542,500 446,900 444,100 25.8%
Turkey 108,128 105,727 114,471 107,920 109,330 6.4%
Argentina 52,600 68,123 76,379 79,468 78,927 4.6%
Iran 72,866 67,783 70,528 75,835 75,463 4.4%
United States 71,008 73,429 67,596 69,857 71,179 4.1%
Ukraine 63,615 59,294 66,231 71,279 69,937 4.1%
India 62,599 65,090 66,635 67,612 67,141 3.9%
Russia 67,736 69,764 65,167 65,006 63,526 3.7%
Mexico 61,881 55,358 51,066 64,253 61,986 3.6%
Ethiopia 59,161 47,706 50,000 50,000 53,782 3.1%
Brazil 37,859 39,677 41,696 42,378 45,981 2.7%
Canada 41,735 42,900 43,550 43,089 36,444 2.1%
Others 705,037 676,157 670,460 672,294 543,492 31.6%
Grand Total 1,877,225 1,926,008 1,926,279 1,855,891 1,721,288 100.0%
Note:
1. FAO production data for the year 2020 was not yet available at the time of writing this report.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations | © FAO Statistics Division 2021
 

4.2.2. Top 10 honey-producing countries, 2019

Description of this image follows.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations | © FAO Statistics Division 2021

Description of the image above.
Country Production (in metric tons)
China 444,100
Turkey 109,330
Argentina 78,927
Iran 75,463
United States 71,179
Ukraine 69,937
India 67,141
Russia 63,526
Mexico 61,986
Ethiopia 53,782
 

5. Key Resources

  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Statistics Division
  • Global Trade Tracker
  • Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0353-01 Production and value of honey
  • Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0054-01 Food available in Canada
  • Statistics Canada. CATSNET

Import and export data is based on the following Harmonized System Codes (H.S. Codes):

  • Honey for import: 0409000010; 0409000021; 0409000022; 0409000023; 0409000024; 0409000025; 0409000026; 0409000029; 0409000090
  • Honey for export: 04090000
  • Honey Bees for import: 0106410010; 0106410011; 0106410012; 0106900011; 0106900012
  • Queen Bees for imports: 0106410020