Commodity markets worldwide and pancake-gobbling North Americans have been left reeling by the news of an audacious theft which may have seen as much as five thousand tons of maple syrup burgled from planet Earth's "global strategic reserve" of the sticky gunge.
A searing announcement from the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers revealed the facts to an astonished world late last week. The largely Francophone Canadian province is responsible for as much as 80 per cent of world maple syrup production, and fully two-thirds of Canada's output is exported to feed the insatiable demands of pancake-noshing breakfasters in the Dominion's vast southern neighbour.
According to the FQMSP:
The Federation is currently evaluating the scope of the situation. The empty barrels found on site suggest that their contents had been emptied into other containers in view of illegal distribution. In total, the burglarized warehouse held over 10 million pounds of maple syrup amounting to over 30 million dollars in value.
The marketing of the stolen maple syrup will affect the entire maple industry. It is crucial to identify those responsible for this crime.
In addition, several American states saw a very low, indeed catastrophic, harvest during the 2012 season. The Quebec harvest, however, remained normal. The Federation`s maple syrup inventories supply markets during periods of weaker harvests and can, therefore, be considered a global strategic reserve.
Unless the mysterious syrup pirates can be brought to justice and their sticky haul reclaimed, the prospect would seem to exist of a crisis in the global pancake-topping supply.
Few readers will need reminding what can happen when American businesses and consumers urgently need a commodity from overseas, and there appears to be a prospect of that commodity either not being supplied or being supplied at a massively elevated price.
Yes, that's right. It would seem now only a matter of time until the colossus to the south turns hungry eyes on the remaining, strictly limited supplies of maple syrup in the other Quebecois strategic-reserve locations. US troops returning from the Wars on Stuff may yet find that their fighting days are not over yet, as they are despatched to Canada - with or without the consent of the locals - to ensure that the supply of sticky gold continues to flow uninterrupted onto the breakfast plates back home in the USA. ®