Brasilia – The Brazilian oil company Petrobras yesterday lowered the prices of fuel and diesel, after announcing the end of its pricing policy linked to international prices, in line with the intention of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to avoid sudden fluctuations that harm to customers.
“The announcement puts an end to the mandatory subordination to the import parity price with a view to the best alternative accessible to customers,” the company, open capital but controlled by the State, explained in a statement.
Shortly after, Petrobras announced the reduction from Wednesday of the liter of diesel by 12.7%, up to 3.02 reais (0.61 dollars), and of 12.6% of the liter of gasoline, up to 2.78 reais ( 0.56 dollars) in the average price for distributors.
The company also provided a 21.4% reduction in the liter of LPG gas, used for cooking in homes of vulnerable families, when the cold begins in various regions of the country.
Thus, the 13-kilo bottle or jug will have an average price to the public of less than 100 reais (about 20 dollars), according to the Ministry of Energy.
Lula had promised since the 2022 electoral campaign to “make Brazilian” Petrobras’ prices, dependent on a policy that, according to him, sought to “please shareholders to the detriment of Brazilians.”
This mechanism, implemented since 2016, consisted of maintaining the price parity of oil and derived fuels with the international market and the evolution of the dollar.
In January, after his inauguration, Lula appointed ex-senator Jean Paul Prates, a man he trusted, to be the company’s new president with the approval of the board. And the change began to take shape.
The new mechanism, “in addition to serving an adequate commercial policy, will make prices more attractive to the consumer and reduce the impact on inflation,” the Minister of Mines and Energy, Alexandre Silveira, said Tuesday at a press conference in Brasilia.
12-month inflation in Brazil eased in April for the tenth consecutive month, to 4.18%, according to official figures. “With this commercial strategy, Petrobras will be more efficient and competitive,” Prates said.
Contrary to what was expected among investors reluctant to state interventionism, Petrobras common shares (PETR3) rose on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange. The optimism is due to the fact that the market feared that the government would radically end the current pricing policy, said Israel Rodrigues, an oil sector analyst at Genial Investimentos.