Condiment consumers are facing the prospect of fewer jars of mustard on the shelves, as yields have dropped and seed availability has tightened.

Last year's mustard seed stocks are depleting whilst this year's crop looks to be anything but bumper. The issue stems from the Canadian prairies, where the majority of the world's mustard seeds for export are grown. The area of mustard grown is focused on Saskatchewan and Alberta which reduced the area planted last year and severe summer droughts have pulled yields below average.

Last year Saskatchewan grew around 300,000 acres of mustard seeds which is 100,000 acres less than the 10 year average. The hot and dry weather in summer pulled yields down to only 35% of the ten year average, according to the Department of Agricultural at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. This year the area grown has bounced back, but the supply is still estimated to be tight.

This has pushed prices to triple what they were a year ago. A hundredweight of yellow mustard seeds (45kg) is now selling for $150 (£125) compared to $50 (£42) last year. Brown mustard seed (needed for Dijon) has risen more sharply to $182.33 per hundredweight compared to $45 last year. Most of the seeds are exported across the globe for mustard production in other countries, with France the biggest importer.

Eric Giesbrecht a chef and owner of the Brassica Mustard company in Canada said he had to pay 400% more for his seeds this year than last due to the shortage.

The shortage is being most acutely felt in France who rely on Canada for the raw ingredients to make their mustard. Director of Reine de Dijon Mustard manufacturer and president of the Burgundy Mustard Association, Luc Vandermaesen, said: “The main issue is climate change and the result is this shortage. We can't respond to the orders we get, and retail prices are up as much as 25% reflecting the soaring cost of seeds.”

Mustard is a staple on the French kitchen table with the average person getting through one kilo of the condiment per year, equivalent to five jars. The shortage is driving some in the sector, such as Paul-Oliver Claudepierre, who co-owns Martin-Pouret mustards and vinegars to demand 'relocalising production'. He said: "We cultivate, thousands of kilometers away, a seed that we are going to harvest, bring to a port, transport across the ocean in containers, in order to transform it at home. That costs a lot, and what a great carbon toll."

When asked what makes mustard so indispensable to French cuisine, they say it’s the mustard kick, or as French describe it, 'ça me monte au nez' – 'it's rising into my nose'.