Despite all the doom and gloom in the industry, the ICIS World Baseoils Conference in London last week pulled in hundreds of delegates for our biggest and most global conference of all - with speakers and participants from Asia, Europe and the US, all enjoying the weak pound and some fantastic hotel room rates at the smart Lancaster Gate Hotel (£130/night including breakfast!) I did hear that one of the tallest delegates, from the tall Dutch contingent, found the room too small, but I think that is a common complaint in London hotels.
In the coffee breaks, delegates could not stop talking about how bad business was.
"Rotterdam tanks are full and no-one is shipping anything out," one shipping manager told me. "Asia is different - there are still plenty of movements around the region."
And one Mediterranean base oils producer said that the market was just terrible: "We're going to see a lot of changes. There'll be consolidation into just a small number of major producers, and that won't be all bad, but it will be a very different market."
For news coverage of the conference papers, click here for Anu Agarwal's outlook for prices, and Shelley Kerr's view on the changing market structure.