View from the Bridge - Jan 16

Welcome to 2016!

In 2015 OATS added more than 16,000 models to its EARL database, double any previous year, reflecting the result of the investment in our improved gathering process.

Product Manager, our new product matching tool continues to impress customers. We, at least, enter the year confident that we can improve service to the Lubricants Industry in the coming year.

Meanwhile in the wider world, friction in the Middle East, and turmoil relating to China’s deceleration (although still growing has overshadowed the strongest PMI figures from Europe and the lowest unemployment in the US for many years.

The commodity-driven economies - and those industries that depend on them - are suffering, but the oil importing nations continue to benefit from the stimulus of lower oil prices. The global growth forecast remains stronger for 2016 than 2015, at least for the moment.

Short term fluctuations can cause other indicators to be overlooked. Zimbabwe recently agreed to adopt the Chinese Yuan as their currency to run alongside the US Dollar; a further indication of China extending its economic power around the world and especially in Africa.

In Australia, Nurofen, a painkilling drug, had to be withdrawn from sale because different benefit claims were being made for the same chemical composition. If the challenge is upheld by the courts, it does not need a great deal of lateral thinking to recognise the potentially dramatic implications for the lubricants industry!

The world at the end of 2016 will undoubtedly look different again. We can be certain that lubricants will still be in demand, as will the pressure for cleaner air in China, India and other emerging countries - just one factor which will drive the continued progression of lubricants specifications.

Whatever 2016 brings, we look forward to working with you and helping deliver improvements and profitability for your business as we all face up to the challenge of doing more with less.

In the meantime, if you would like to find out more about how OATS can assist your business, don't hesitate to contact Diana Shen in China or, for global information, you can reach OATS via e-mail or follow our updates on social media via TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Google+.

Sebastian Crawshaw