Some gas stations in Belo Horizonte and Contagem ran out of fuel in the early afternoon of this September 7th holiday. The stoppage, for an indefinite period, of drivers who transport fuel was announced this Monday (9/6) by the president of the Union of Transporters of Fuels and Petroleum Derivatives of the State of Minas Gerais (Sindtanque-MG), Irani Gomes.
The union leader stated that “adherence to the movement was total and will continue tomorrow”. A concentration of tankers was scheduled for this Wednesday morning (8), at the door of the Gabriel Passos Refinery, in Betim. There are still no records of great movement in demand for gasoline in Belo Horizonte.
According to a gas station attendant in the Prado region, who was not authorized to identify himself, regular gasoline ran out around noon and premium two hours later. Application driver Saulo Rodrigues said he tried to refuel as soon as he learned of the possibility of a tanker strike. “I couldn’t find any more gasoline at this station and the alternative was alcohol.”
According to the employee of the establishment, there was a “some movement” in the morning and some customers also said they feared a run to the gas stations and an increase in the price of gasoline. “There was even a company that sent their cars to fill the tank.” Also in the gua Branca region, in Contagem, drivers did not find the fuel this Tuesday afternoon.
The cashier at the ALE So Jos gas station, in the Savassi region, Gustavo Gomes Gil, said that the reservoirs were refilled on Sunday (5/9) and that there is still enough fuel for two more days, until Thursday (9). There are two tanks of 30 thousand and 15 thousand liters.
Even in the face of the announcement of the stoppage, he did not notice an increase in the demand for customers looking to fill their tanks. “The biggest movement was in the morning, due to the demonstration that took place in Praa da Liberdade and which is very close to our establishment.” In the afternoon, according to him, the movement was weak, typical of a holiday.
On Independence Day, in a motorcade with hundreds of cars, motorcycles and trucks traveling the streets of Belo Horizonte, there was movement for supplies in the South Zone and Pampulha, areas of concentration of the Pocketnarist demonstrators. But there is no apparent relation to the possibility of a lack of gasoline or alcohol given the probability of the tankers’ strike being extended.
Ovdio Matos said that he went to the gas station because he “needed to refuel”. Faced with the possibility of a long-term strike, he replied: “I’m not even there, if there is any, I’ll stay at home.”
Irabi Gomes, from Sinditanques-MG, attributes the high price of pumps to the rate of this state tax and wants a positive response from Governor Romeu Zema (Novo) to reduce it.
The state government says the rates have not changed recently. According to the Executive, the last changes were in January 2018 (the tax on gasoline went from 29% to 31% and on ethanol, from 14% to 16%) and in January 2012 (the ICMS tax on diesel jumped from 12 % to 15%).