Hot Stuff: The Maple Syrup Shortage

Paying Attention

Who would have thought it?
That maple syrup–that cold Saturday morning breakfast staple, the sweet glue that brings sugar and eye-popping taste to waffles and pancakes throughout North America–would be more valuable than oil (maple syrup was, at the time of the writing of this post, $32 a gallon or $1800 a barrel; by comparison regular gas was $1.89/gallon at the pump with West Texas Intermediate crude at $46.06 barrel per pricing)
But it is.
And the similarities don’t end there.
There is a maple sugar cartel (whose function closely parallels that of OPEC in the oil industry)–organized by our friends in Canada’s prime maple syrup production region (Quebec)-and even shortages of the wonderful goo, which is something that happens when cartels intercede on free markets.
Of course, there are wild price swings with maple syrup, just as with oil. As prices go up and supply goes down with tight controls, the stuff becomes more and more valuable and when that happens, crime is only a dastardly thought away, as this terrific piece from our friends at reveals. 
So enjoy your maple syrup at breakfast this holiday season. Like many of life’s simple pleasures–getting it to your table is not as simple as it seems. And, we shouldn’t need to tell you this but, don’t waste a drop. It’s precious these days.
The Fine Print: Image courtesy of our friends at Getty Images, the photo archives of our time. Thanks, guys, for sharing. And Happy Holidays.

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