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Citing warm weather, Canada taps into maple syrup reserves

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Citing warm weather, Canada taps into maple syrup reserves
Canada has released half of its maple syrup reserves. Photo courtesy of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers

Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Shorter harvest and high demand have led to Canada's decision to release 50% of its maple syrup reserves.

The Canadian government has announced that it would release almost 50 million pounds of syrup from its strategic reserve.

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Quebec Maple Syrup Producers reported that output decreased by 24% in 2021.

Meanwhile, export sales fueled by the pandemic rose by 21% -- or 113.5 million pounds -- between January and September.

The group of 11,300 maple producers supplies more than 70% of the world's maple syrup. Their biggest customer is the United States, which accounts for 60% of Canada's export volume.

Warmer and shorter spring harvest seasons and demand overseas affected production this year. Trees are heavily reliant on the weather and must be a certain age before they can produce syrup.

They need freezing nights and warm days -- conditions that allow the sap to flow. The harvest season runs from February until the end of April, but warm weather cut the season short this year.

Climate change and logging pose threats and could impact the supply of healthy trees.

Spokesperson Helene Normandin said that the release is the largest since 2008 and 2009, when the group was forced to empty its reserves.

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"We need to produce more maple syrup," she told Gizmodo. "The reserve is there to make sure that we are always able to sell and offer this product."

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