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Publisher’s Letter


The Coronavirus Issue

This issue has unofficially become the coronavirus issue. Like so many aspects of people’s lives, it seems our pages have been hijacked by the disease.

Check out Sara Lefcourt’s column on Page 12 for tips on how your business can plan ahead for health emergencies. The Base Oil Report (Page 52) gives a rundown of how that market has been affected.

Finished lubes may begin to feel woozy, too. Quarantines and plain old fear have cut into economic activity in most countries where cases of Covid-19 have turned up. In a global economy, few regions remain isolated from economic troubles elsewhere.

In China, where the outbreak originated, both base oil and lubricant plants have closed, and trade flows have been restricted.

The country’s automobile manufacturers association requested that the government postpone implementing China 6 emissions regulations to allow them to sell their inventory and start producing compliant models. This comes after China’s passenger car sales tumbled by 92 percent in the first half of February. What would a delay mean for uptake of new lubricants?

But not everyone is wringing their hands. One lube blender in Poland, Orlen Oil, has found a way to make lemonade out of lemons by converting its production lines to make hand sanitizer.

May we all find the best ways of lessening Covid-19’s impact on our industry and our communities, and may it all be over soon!

Howard Briskin

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