Quebec, the world’s top maple syrup supplier, produced a record amount of the sweet breakfast staple thanks to chilly Canadian weather -- delivering a bounty that helps replenish depleted stockpiles.

Producers in the French-speaking Canadian province harvested 211.3 million pounds of syrup this spring, according to a survey by Quebec-based agri-food consultant Groupe Ageco. The Quebec Maple Syrup Producers -- the de facto cartel of the sticky stuff --- said the amount allows it to restock reserves drained after last year’s harvest. This year’s output topped the previous record of 175 million pounds in 2020.

“We benefited from excellent weather conditions this spring,” Luc Goulet, president of the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, said Friday in the statement.

Producers were helped by cool spring temperatures, which allowed farmers to tap trees for a longer period. The so-called sugaring season typically occurs between late February and the end of April, because tree sap flows when daytime temperatures alternate between freezing and thawing. 

Warm weather affected last year’s output just as global demand for the pancake topping surged, forcing the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers drain nearly 50 million pounds of syrup from its strategic reserve -- about half its stockpile and the biggest drawdown since 2008. The producers group sets bulk prices, caps production and sends unsold syrup output to a warehouse in Laurierville, Quebec.

The Canadian producers sold a record 180.2 million pounds of syrup last year, 22 per cent more than the prior period, while exports jumped almost 21 per cent to 160.8 million pounds. Quebec accounted for 73 per cent of global output in 2020.