Petrobras Board receives green light to announce new fuel readjustment

Council should announce the readjustments this Friday, 17, after an emergency meeting this Thursday

ALLISON SALES/FUTURA PRESS/ESTADÃO CONTENTView of Petrobras headquarters in Rio de Janeiro (RJ)
Petrobras is expected to announce new adjustments this Friday

The board of directors of Petrobras held an emergency meeting on the afternoon of this Thursday, 16th, to try to resolve the impasse surrounding the fuel price. The meeting took the leaders of the state-owned company by surprise, not only because it was a holiday, but because the topic was not within the competence of the council. The meeting served to reaffirm that the fuel adjustment is the responsibility of the executive board, which may announce a price increase this Friday. The value of the discharge was not informed to the directors. Gasoline prices have been frozen for almost 100 days at Petrobras refineries, while diesel prices have been raised for the last time 36 days ago. Data from the Brazilian Association of Importers and Fuels (Abicom) show that the lag reaches 18% for diesel and 14% for gasoline compared to international quotations. With prices out of step with those abroad, Petrobras has been under pressure from the government to keep gasoline and diesel frozen until the elections, while the market expects the company to proceed with its import parity price (PPI) policy.

Hastily convened by the chairman of the board, Márcio Weber, and held virtually, the meeting took at least an hour to get the necessary quorum to start. In recent days, the government met twice with Petrobras’ board to try to prevent the increase. According to sources, the government would have asked the company to hold prices until the new rules on ICMS take effect for the consumer. The adjustment could nullify the benefit of the tax cut passed by Congress. The president of Petrobras, José Mauro Coelho, is being pressured to resign from his position to hasten the exchange for Bolsonaro’s nominee, the secretary of Debureaucratization at the Ministry of Economy, Caio Paes de Andrade. With the resignation, Paes would not have to wait for a shareholders’ meeting to be held, but Coelho has already stated that he will not resign. The decision on the fuel adjustment is taken by the company’s president, the Commercialization director (Claudio Mastella), and the Financial and Investor Relations director (Rodrigo Araújo). According to sources, the two will also be fired after Paes de Andrade takes office.

*With information from Estadão Content

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