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After a surge in corporate issuance due to the effects of Covid-19, Canadian companies will have record quantities of debt maturing over the next few years, according to new data from Moody’s Investors Service.

In its latest review of refunding risk, Moody’s reported that non-financial companies in Canada will have about $123 billion (all figures in U.S. dollars) of rated bonds and loans maturing in 2021-2025.

This represents a 34% increase ($31 billion) from January (data that covered 2020-2024).

Speculative-grade bond issuance rose by almost 30% since January, Moody’s reported.

“Canadian speculative-grade debt maturities have risen to $81 billion, and now account for about two-thirds of total Canadian debt coming due in 2021-25,” said Paresh Chari, vice president and senior analyst at Moody’s.

Investment-grade issuance has grown more rapidly this year, Moody’s said, as companies either refinanced or “sought to shore up their liquidity” due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, investment-grade issuance was up by about 120% over the first seven months of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.

At this point, the peak year for corporate maturities is 2025, when $47 billion comes due, Moody’s said.

In speculative-grade debt, only about $4 billion is due in 2021, followed by $8 billion in 2022. That rises to $18 billion in 2023, drops in 2024, and then peaks at about $36 billion in 2025.

Conversely, investment-grade bond maturities are spread fairly evenly across the next five years, with “a modest peak” in 2025, Moody’s said.

In terms of refinancing risk, Moody’s noted the fact that about 85% of Canadian speculative grade debt is set to mature in 2023 and beyond “significantly [alleviates] near-term refunding risk.”

The report also said that about one third of maturities are in commodity-based sectors (such as energy and mining), and one quarter is in industries with negative outlooks, including retail, airlines, energy and consumer services.