In the year, diesel already accumulates 65.3% in refineries. On the other hand, the price of gasoline increased by 73.4% in the same period. According to the broad national consumer price index (HICP) which indicates consumer appreciation, The percentage of discharges at 12 months was 33.05% and 39.6%, respectively.
At stations across the country, the escalation in prices is evident. A recent survey conducted by the National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) showed that The average price of gasoline at gas stations in the country rose 0.6% this week, to R$6.36 per liter. – In the fourth consecutive weekly Ibra.
But, after all, why do fuel prices keep rising?
Petrobras adjusts petrol and diesel prices
First, you need to understand how gasoline and diesel prices are determined. The composition of fuel prices consists of the price Petrobras charges at refineries, plus federal (PIS/Pasep, Cofins, Cide) and state (ICMS) taxes, plus distribution and resale cost.
There is also the cost of anhydrous ethanol in gasoline, and diesel has the effect of biodiesel. It is the differences in all of these elements that determine how much fuel the pumps cost.
Price composition – Photo: Economy G1
The main “driver” of the increases in gasoline and diesel prices was the real one, which was devalued. Until last Friday (22), The dollar – the currency in which the value of oil is linked – The accumulated increase of 8.5% compared to the riyal this year.
“I would stress that the main reason for higher fuel prices is the exchange rate, by far. Oil is already worth more than current value, and fuel has not cost what it does today,” says Walter de Vito, analyst at Tendencies Consulting.
What gives strength to this losing movement in the value of the Brazilian currency is the various uncertainties of investors regarding the direction of the government’s economic policy Jair Bolsonaro.
The president’s coup-like speeches in the September 7 demonstrations It increased the degree of uncertainty in the economy and spoiled the indicators.
Another surprising occurrence is the gap in the spending ceiling to fund Auxílio Brasil, Especially after Economy Minister Paulo Guedes admitted to evading al-Qaeda.
In addition to raising the dollar, such political crises reduce the likelihood of general policy approval in Congress.
“The financial issue has to be addressed, and now there’s a political issue,” says De Vito, of Tendencias. “These factors are generating this uncertainty, and the exchange rate reflects all of this.” “The demand for the real is declining, the demand for the dollar is increasing, and the Brazilian currency is declining.”
The price of oil in the foreign market
There is also an additional stress factor. The value of the fuel is also affected by the recovery in the price of oil in the international market.
After the shock caused by the coronavirus epidemic, the global economy is supposed to witness strong growth this year, which increases the search for the commodity, and thus helps to raise prices.
“With this rise in the price of (oil) in the international market, the price of fuel is higher from the start,” says Juliana Inhasz, professor and graduate coordinator in economics at Insper.
Petrobras pricing policy
Fuel sales prices charged by the state-owned company began tracking the value of oil in the international market and the exchange rate changing. Thus, an increase in the price of a commodity and/or a decrease in the value of the real can contribute to higher prices in Brazil, for example.
Petrobras is dominant in the market. Thus, any change adopted by the SOE has the potential to affect the entire chain.
At the end of September, it was Petrobras stated that it is only responsible for R$2 in the composition of gasoline prices The rise in fuel prices is the responsibility of the government.
The state-owned company made the statement after President Bolsonaro referred to the fuel increase with the words: “Nothing is so bad that it can’t get any worse.”
One of the main current accusations about price hikes is related to the Goods and Services Circulation Tax – ICMS. In fact, the state tax greatly affects the value of the pump. The percentage varies between countries: in the case of gasoline, it reaches 30% in some places.
In late August, Bolsonaro stated in an interview that the fuel price hike was due to “the greed of the rulers”.
The face value of ICMS paid per liter of fuel has increased because its cost, used as the basis for the calculation, is higher.
However, the prices are the same as those imposed before the current crisis: both in May last year, when the cost of gasoline, on average, was 4 R$, and in September, with the price at R$6. The percentage imposed in São Paulo, for example, is still at 25%.
Why follow international parity?
in the Management Dilma RousseffTo avoid increasing inflation, the government has avoided readjusting managed prices, such as electricity and fuel prices. This measure was not well received by investors because it was considered state interference in the economy.
“The Dilma government used Petrobras as a way to absorb price effects, and avoid going to the end consumer,” says Insper’s Juliana. “But the price increase has to happen, otherwise the government will bear the increase.”
During Tamer’s government, the price change became daily and it ended up being a strike by truck drivers. the demonstration The cost of the job of Pedro Parente, then president of Petrobras.
Pedro Parenti has resigned from the presidency of Petrobras – Photo: Red Globo
Under the current administration, Petrobras still claims to maintain parity in fuel prices, but readjustments occur with less frequency – The last one was announced on October 8..
Bolsonaro has publicly complained about price hikes and Roberto Castelo Branco was removed from the leadership of the state-owned company earlier this year. has been replaced by General Joaquim Luna Silva.
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