Statistical Overview of the Canadian Maple Industry, 2020

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Overview

The Canadian maple syrup industry accounts for approximately 75% of the world’s maple syrup production, with 92% of the Canadian production originating from Quebec, 4% from New Brunswick, 3% from Ontario, and 1% from Nova Scotia. The United States is the world’s second-largest producer, accounting for approximately 24% of global production, with 51% of United States production originating from Vermont, 18% from New York, and 13% from Maine.

Due to favourable weather conditions, Canadian maple producers harvested 14.3 million gallons of maple syrup in 2020, surpassing the 2019 record of 13.2 million gallons produced by 8.3%. The increased production resulted in total sales of $558.5 million in 2020, up 7.9% from a year earlier. Maple products accounted for 6.4% of all Canadian horticulture farm cash receiptsFootnote 1 in 2020.

Despite the increased production and sales in 2020, the COVID-19 shutdowns impacted the short maple syrup season across Canada in 2020. During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, where measures such as physical distancing were implemented just as the maple syrup season was commencing, in-person visits to farms, sugar shacks and other activities that normally draw large crowds were not possible. In response to this reduction in ecotourism, some producers shifted focus towards online sales.

Canada is the world’s largest exporter of maple products in terms of value and volume, with exports valued at $515 million in 2020, up 19.8% from 2019. In terms of value, Quebec accounted for 96.4% of Canadian maple product exports in 2020. Canadian maple products were exported to 68 different countries around the world in 2020; 59.1% of the exports were destined to the United States, 9.8% to Germany, 6.0% to the United Kingdom, 5.2% to Australia, and 4.8% to Japan, and 4.4% to France, with the other export destinations accounting for the remaining 10.8% of total exports.

1. ProductionFootnote 2

As maple trees grow, they accumulate starch, which converts into sugar during the spring thaw and mixes with the water absorbed through tree roots to create maple sap, which generally flows between February and April each year. Producers use tubing systems, reverse osmosis and high-performance evaporators to collect sap and boil it down to create maple syrup. On average, it takes approximately 40 litres of sap to make one litre of maple syrup. Canadian maple syrup products range from traditional maple syrup to maple sugar, maple butter, maple candy as well as a full range of products containing maple syrup.

The safety and quality of Canadian maple syrup is monitored by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which ensures producers meet high federal standards. The CFIA is also responsible for the federal classification of Canadian maple syrup grades and colour descriptors, ensuring they align with standard international grading systems. There are two grade names for Canadian maple syrup: “Canada Grade A” (which is further graded into four colour classes - “Golden, Delicate Taste”, “Amber, Rich Taste”, “Dark, Robust Taste” and “Very Dark, Strong Taste” – that typically reach consumer and commercial markets) and “Canada Processing Grade”, which does not have colour classes and is often used in large-scale commercial applications.

Quebec producers, who account for 92% of Canadian production, harvested 13.2 million gallons in 2020, up 9.8% from 2019. Higher yields, due to favourable spring weather and more taps, accounted for the higher production. While prices in other maple-producing provinces are determined by producers and as a result, can vary substantially, prices in Quebec are controlled by the Régie des marchés agricoles et agroalimentaires du Québec, which helps stabilize the price from year to year. The price in Quebec for 2020 remained at $38.55 per gallon and the total value of maple products was $509.2 million.

Producers in New Brunswick - the second largest producer of maple products - accounted for $20.6 million worth of maple syrup, down by 11.1% from a year earlier, in part due to lower production (following a strong performance in 2019) and lower prices for bulk syrup. Production was down by 6.2% and producers received $2.05 less per gallon in 2020 compared with a year earlier, for an average of $36.78 per gallon.

In 2020, production and overall value decreases were also noted in Ontario and Nova Scotia compared to strong 2019 production levels. In Ontario, production fell by 7.0% to 467,000 gallons in 2020, with a 2.9% decrease in value to $25.8 million, while the value per gallon increased to $55.16. In Nova Scotia, production decreased by 20.0% to 56,000 gallons, with a drop in value to $2.9 million (-25.9%), with the value per gallon also falling by 7.4% to $50.89.

1.1. Maple syrup production[1] by province (thousands of gallons[2])

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 %
Share
Nova Scotia 48 43 55 70 56 0.4%
New Brunswick 528 551 361 598 561 3.9%
Quebec 11,185 11,493 8,914 12,033 13,210 92.4%
Ontario 398 425 465 502 467 3.3%
Canada 12,160 12,512 9,796 13,204 14,294 100.0%

Notes:

[1]. Maple products such as taffy, sugar and maple butter have been converted to syrup equivalent.

[2]. Conversion factors: 1 gallon of syrup equals 10.0 pounds of maple sugar. One gallon of syrup weighs 13.24760 pounds. One gallon of syrup equals 10.4 pounds of taffy. The conversion of maple taffy to syrup varies with the density of syrup that year.

Source:  Statistics Canada.  Table 32-10-0354-01 Production and value of maple products (x 1,000)

1.2. Production of maple products – 15-year trend

Production of maple products
Production of maple products – 15-year trend
Year Millions of gallons
2006 5.93
2007 5.38
2008 5.13
2009 9.08
2010 7.27
2011 8.55
2012 7.86
2013 10.05
2014 9.48
2015 8.91
2016 12.16
2017 12.51
2018 9.80
2019 13.20
2020 14.29

1.3. Number of maple farms[1] by province[2])

  2011 2016
Newfoundland and Labrador 1 0
Prince Edward Island 2 1
Nova Scotia 36 48
New Brunswick 108 111
Quebec 4,674 4,776
Ontario 416 391
Manitoba 6 6
Saskatchewan 0 2
Alberta 0 0
British Columbia 5 5
Canada 5,248 5,340

[1]. The last Census of Agriculture was conducted in 2016. The next Census of Agriculture will occur in May 2021.

[2]. Number of farms includes all farms reported maple taps and on which maple syrup production represents 50% or more of total farm cash receipts.

Source:  Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0166-01 Farms classified by farm type

1.4. Number of maple taps[1] by province

  2011 2016
Newfoundland and Labrador x 0
Prince Edward Island 9,693 9,760
Nova Scotia 372,452 446,300
New Brunswick 1,896,773 2,285,785
Quebec 40,632,512 42,529,033
Ontario 1,508,651 1,713,022
Manitoba 8,251 5,961
Saskatchewan 5,917 1,490
Alberta x 0
British Columbia 3,609 4,009
Canada 44,440,024 46,995,360

Notes:

[1]. The last Census of Agriculture was conducted in 2016. The next Census of Agriculture will occur in May 2021.

X: Suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of theStatistics Act.
Source: Statistics Canada.  Table 32-10-0423-01 Maple taps

1.5. Gross value[1] of maple products by province (thousands of Canadian dollars)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 %
Share
Nova Scotia 3,200 2,473 3,069 3,847 2,850 0.5%
New Brunswick 22,023 22,003 13,715 23,217 20,630 3.7%
Quebec 435,600 444,570 344,834 463,889 509,250 91.2%
Ontario 23,286 24,947 23,913 26,535 25,759 4.6%
Canada 484,109 493,992 385,531 517,489 558,489 100.0%

Note:

[1]. The gross value of maple products includes maple sugar,  maple syrup, maple taffy and maple butter.

Source: Statistics Canada.  Table 32-10-0354-01 Production and value of maple products (x 1,000)

2. Trade

Canada is the world’s largest exporter of maple products, with exports valued at $515 million in 2020, up 19.8% from 2019. This was a marked year-on-year increase in export growth as compared to 2019,  when exports experienced a 6.0% increase compared to 2018.

In terms of value, Quebec accounted for 96.4% of Canadian maple product exports in 2020. Export values from Quebec grew by 19% compared to 2019, while New Brunswick and Ontario also experienced strong increases in maple product export values. In 2020, New Brunswick, which accounted for 2.7% of total Canadian exports by value (for a total of $13.8 million, up 27.6% over 2019). While Ontario only accounted for 0.8% of Canada’s overall maple product exports in 2020 ($4.2 million), the province experienced a very significant increase of +335.9% in export values compared to 2019. This sharp increase was the result of exports to new markets other than the United States, which had been the exclusive export destination for Ontario maple products prior to 2020. These new markets included Ireland, Japan and Denmark.

Canadian maple products were exported to 68 different countries around the world in 2020; 59.1% of the exports by value were destined to the United States, 9.8% to Germany, 6.0% to the United Kingdom, 5.2% to Australia, 4.8% to Japan, and 4.4% to France, with the other export destinations accounting for the remaining 10.8% of total exports.

Over the last five years, export volumes to each of these same six countries have shown strong growth, for the most part. In comparing 2016 to 2020, export volumes grew by 86.6% to France, 55.0% to Australia, 47.3% to the United Kingdom, 32.6% to the United States, 20.9% to Germany, and 1.7% to Japan.

2.1. Exports

2.1.1. Maple products[1] exports by province – by value (thousands of Canadian dollars)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 %
Share
Newfoundland and Labrador 1 0 0 5 0 0.0%
Prince Edward Island 0 23 211 3 7 0.0%
Nova Scotia 558 520 129 210 196 0.0%
New Brunswick 17,168 10,808 9,660 10,811 13,794 2.7%
Quebec 362,324 369,001 394,812 417,486 496,725 96.4%
Ontario 773 171 356 963 4,198 0.8%
Manitoba 0 0 0 0 0 0.0%
Saskatchewan 0 0 50 0 0 0.0%
Alberta 194 118 1 74 0 0.0%
British Columbia 390 702 419 393 355 0.1%
Canada 381,407 381,342 405,638 429,944 515,276 100.0%

Note:

[1]. Maple Products include both maple sugar and maple syrup.

Source:  Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, April 2021)

2.1.2. Maple products[1] exports by province – by value (kilograms)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 %
Share
Newfoundland and Labrador 55 22 44 501 0 0.0%
Prince Edward Island 0 2,111 27,387 254 808 0.0%
Nova Scotia 62,237 49,940 14,436 19,297 31,119 0.1%
New Brunswick 1,940,942 1,304,800 1,168,890 1,339,734 1,574,507 2.6%
Quebec 42,917,697 44,427,902 47,076,873 49,178,196 58,993,618 96.2%
Ontario 110,150 23,329 52,487 135,161 676,457 1.1%
Manitoba 0 0 0 0 0 0.0%
Saskatchewan 0 0 4,610 0 0 0.0%
Alberta 24,001 20,471 89 12,708 7 0.0%
British Columbia 37,136 70,997 36,581 34,319 32,508 0.1%
Canada 45,092,218 45,899,572 48,381,397 50,720,170 61,309,024 100.0%

Note:

[1]. Maple Products include both maple sugar and maple syrup.

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, April 2021)

2.1.3. Top 10 maple products export destinations – by value (thousands of Canadian dollars)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 %
Share
United States 236,279 236,104 250,472 266,559 304,347 59.1%
Germany 40,043 40,721 44,872 42,121 50,381 9.8%
United Kingdom 16,584 17,733 18,567 21,698 30,753 6.0%
Australia 15,650 17,627 17,500 18,832 26,814 5.2%
Japan 25,756 22,945 22,233 23,441 24,788 4.8%
France 13,049 12,743 13,436 16,705 22,438 4.4%
Denmark 6,137 5,127 6,327 7,510 8,710 1.7%
South Korea 4,152 3,903 5,303 4,720 7,746 1.5%
Netherlands 3,647 3,659 4,325 4,032 5,221 1.0%
Italy 2,464 2,355 2,634 2,893 3,742 0.7%
Others 17,646 18,424 19,969 21,432 30,336 5.9%
Total 381,407 381,342 405,638 429,944 515,276 100.0%
Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, April 2021)

2.1.4. Top 10 maple products export destinations – by volume (kilograms)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 %
Share
United States 27,886,052 28,588,821 30,217,674 32,121,874 36,971,390 60.3%
Germany 4,540,965 4,622,930 5,003,007 4,867,966 5,489,090 9.0%
United Kingdom 2,442,606 2,430,610 2,422,084 2,467,531 3,597,468 5.9%
Australia 1,958,243 2,179,867 2,130,864 2,114,086 3,036,087 5.0%
France 1,594,766 1,579,595 1,654,308 2,103,193 2,975,166 4.9%
Japan 2,679,569 2,489,628 2,410,106 2,506,567 2,724,174 4.4%
Denmark 868,629 730,988 908,839 994,561 1,248,573 2.0%
South Korea 471,750 484,602 670,121 528,207 829,675 1.4%
Netherlands 390,935 388,048 482,083 433,496 564,763 0.9%
Sweden 18,469 20,262 5,156 60,398 511,981 0.8%
Others 2,240,234 2,384,221 2,477,155 2,522,291 3,360,657 5.5%
Total 45,092,218 45,899,572 48,381,397 50,720,170 61,309,024 100.0%
Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNet, April 2021)

3. Availability for consumption

3.1. Maple products available[1] for consumption (kilograms per person)[2]

While consumption of sweet condiments has generally declined due to health-related concerns, maple syrup is an exception. Maple sugar available for consumption more than doubled from the previous year to 0.89 kilograms in 2020, because of a record high production (+8.3%). Similar to maple sugar availabiltity increase, refined sugar availability rose 1.4% from 2019 to 30.5 kilograms, as a result of higher production (+4.7%) and imports (+5.1%). Both increases may have been related to panic buying at the onset of the pandemic.

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Maple Sugar 0.32 0.32 0.34 0.36 0.89

Note:

[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

4.1. World imports

Globally, the United States is the largest importer of maple syrup and sugar products measured by both value and volume, while Canada ranks as the 8th largest importer of maple syrup and sugar products in terms of value and the 5th in terms of volume. Canada’s imports originate almost exclusively from the United States. In 2020, the United States’ imports of maple syrup and sugar products accounted for 49% of total global imports in terms of value. Other main global importing countries included Germany (7%), United Kingdom (6%), Japan (5%), Australia (4%), France (4%), Netherlands (3%) and Canada (2%).

4.1.1. Top 10 importers of maple sugar and maple syrup – by value (thousands of Canadian dollars)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 %
Share
United States 236,408 236,165 250,548 266,617 304,501 48.5%
Germany 29,688 30,120 36,683 37,605 43,993 7.0%
United Kingdom 25,500 25,610 25,264 31,417 37,347 6.0%
Japan 29,962 29,449 27,428 28,783 28,825 4.6%
Australia 17,533 20,866 19,985 22,021 27,291 4.3%
France 13,784 16,121 16,349 23,512 26,607 4.2%
Netherlands 16,918 17,077 19,659 11,574 21,939 3.5%
Canada[1] 21,980 17,078 14,780 14,710 15,495 2.5%
Denmark 6,810 7,150 8,522 8,470 10,406 1.7%
Italy 6,747 4,648 5,772 8,274 10,295 1.6%
Others 61,329 65,289 69,166 72,711 100,716 16.1%
Total 466,658 469,572 494,157 525,693 627,415 100.0%

Notes:

[1]. 100% of Canadian imports of maple products are sourced from the United States.

Source: Global Trade Tracker (April 2021)

4.1.2. Top 10 importers of maple sugar and maple syrup – by volume (metric tons)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 %
Share
United States 27,947 28,593 30,230 32,126 36,990 48.6%
United Kingdom 3,718 4,161 4,498 4,943 4,741 6.2%
Germany 3,154 3,151 3,732 4,052 4,534 6.0%
Australia 2,280 2,742 2,509 2,493 2,826 3.7%
Canada[1] 3,532 2,957 2,506 2,594 2,624 3.5%
France 1,566 1,891 1,776 2,563 2,608 3.4%
Japan 2,649 2,658 2,469 2,588 2,577 3.4%
Netherlands 2,309 2,291 2,107 1,155 2,286 3.0%
Italy 3,462 612 531 744 1,654 2.2%
Puerto Rico 315 258 249 290 1,594 2.1%
Others 9,382 10,032 9,675 14,449 13,602 17.9%
Total 60,314 59,346 60,281 67,996 76,035 100.0%

Notes:

[1]. 100% of Canadian imports of maple products are sourced from the United States.

Source: Global Trade Tracker (April 2021)

4.2. A Comparison: United States national statistics for maple syrup

The United States produced a total of 4.4 million gallons of maple syrup in 2020, up 5% from the previous year, with an estimated production value of US$ 129 million, making it the second largest producer in the world behind Canada. Maple syrup production in the United States occurs mainly in the Northeast and the northern Midwest. Vermont is the country’s top maple syrup-producing state and accounts for over half of the nation’s production (or 51% of total production), followed by New York with 18%, Maine with 13% and Wisconsin with 6%.

4.2.1. United States maple syrup production by state (thousands of gallons)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Vermont 1,900 2,000 1,940 2,070 2,220
New York 707 760 806 820 804
Maine 675 715 539 520 590
Wisconsin 235 207 225 270 265
Michigan 124 150 165 195 170
Pennsylvania 163 165 142 157 169
New Hampshire 176 160 163 148 154
Others 204 228 219 0 0
United States 4,184 4,385 4,199 4,180 4,372
Source: USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service - http://www.nass.usda.gov/

4.2.2. United States maple syrup production value by state (thousands of US dollars)

  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Vermont 46,530 57,000 54,000 54,320 57,960
New York 25,242 31,320 29,640 26,114 26,404
Maine 15,484 20,250 24,096 21,668 14,664
New Hampshire 9,148 9,715 6,960 9,144 6,704
Wisconsin 7,117 7,873 6,500 7,290 8,775
Michigan 7,358 5,555 7,680 6,419 9,477
Pennsylvania 5,933 5,118 5,660 5,538 5,495
Others 10 10 11 11 0
United States 126,820 147,240 145,346 141,825 129,479
Note:
2020 maple syrup production value data was not available at the time of writing.
Source: USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service - http://www.nass.usda.gov/

5. Key resources

Global Trade Tracker

Statistics Canada.  Table 32-10-0166-01 Farms classified by farm type

Statistics Canada.  Table 32-10-0423-01 Maple taps

Statistics Canada.  Table 32-10-0354-01 Production and value of maple products

Statistics Canada.  Table 32-10-0054-01 Food available in Canada

Statistics Canada. CATSNET

USDA. National Agricultural Statistics Service

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

Maple for import: 1702200010, 1702200020

Maple for export: 17022010, 17022020, 17022021, 17022029

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Farm cash receipts measure gross revenue of farm businesses. They represent the cash income received from the sale of agricultural commodities.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

Maple products production data for 2021 will be released by Statistics Canada in December 2021.

Return to footnote 2 referrer