The price of a liter of gasoline in Brazil is about 15% above the average practiced in 170 countries, according to a survey carried out on the website of the consultancy Global Petrol Prices, with data for Monday of last week (11).
At the time, a liter of fuel at Brazilian gas stations cost R$ 7.192, a value collected by the consultancy with the ANP (National Petroleum Agency) until that date – currently, it is R$ 7.22. The world average was R$ 6.29.
In the average price from January 3 to April 11, the value was R$ 6.78 in Brazil. Among the factors that explain the change in the level of prices in the country are the mega-adjustment announced by Petrobras in early March, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine helped to raise the price of oil, and the appreciation of the real this year.
The survey compares local prices, generally reported by government agencies, converted into dollars. The amounts were later converted into reais at the exchange rate of R$4.6915.
According to the most recent data, Brazil occupies the 118th position in the list of 170 countries ranked from lowest to highest price. Looking at the list from another perspective, Brazil would be in the 53rd position among the countries with the most expensive gasoline.
The numbers consider the final consumer value, with taxes, logistics costs and, in some cases, fuel subsidies.
Although the price at the pump in the national market is above the world average on the analyzed date, this does not mean that the values here will necessarily be revised.
Petrobras’ pricing policy follows the quotations at refineries of the oil derivative in the region considered the best supply alternative for the Brazilian market, generally, the Gulf of Mexico, which concentrates a large part of the refining capacity of the United States. The exchange rate and the costs of importing the product are also considered.
By this concept, the price in Brazil is out of step with the international parity. According to a calculation by Abicom (association of fuel importers), with data for last Monday (18), the price of gasoline in Brazil is 6% below the reference abroad, the equivalent of R$ 0.24 per liter.
“Despite the slight reduction in the exchange rate and in the reference prices of gasoline and diesel oil in the international market, the lags remained far from par, making import operations unfeasible”, says Abicom.
Brazil is among the ten largest producers, but the refining capacity does not meet national demand, leading to the need to import up to 20% of local consumption.
Global Petrol Prices data also show that Brazil has one of the highest rates of fuel expenditure relative to income level, at 4.8%, alongside countries in Africa and Central America.
Considering the cost of filling a 40-liter tank, it is equivalent to 10.8% of the average Brazilian monthly income. The numbers are practically double the ones verified, for example, in Argentina.
According to Global Petrol Prices, in general, richer countries have higher prices. With the exception of the United States, where the average price (R$ 5.59) is almost half that practiced in Europe and is in line with the value of Mexico (R$ 5.476), for example.
Poorer countries, oil producers and exporters tend to have considerably lower prices, according to the consultancy. Some European producers, however, adopt policies of higher taxation for fossil fuels, in order to discourage consumption or form a reserve of resources for other public policies. This is the case of Norway, which has the fourth highest price (R$ 11,336 per litre).
There are also large producers that practice extremely low prices, such as Venezuela (R$ 0.117 per litre), which has the cheapest gasoline in the world. Prices in Russia and Saudi Arabia are also below the global average (both R$2.915 per litre).
The pump price in Brazil is close to that of other major emerging economies, such as China, another major producer, and India — all around R$7.00 per litre.
The rise in fuel prices is among the main concerns of the Jair Bolsonaro government (PL), which has already promoted the complete exemption of PIS/Cofins on diesel, cooking gas and aviation kerosene. Governors have also frozen, since last year, the ICMS (Tax on Circulation of Goods and Services) on these products.
According to a survey by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), at least 29 countries have launched measures to cushion the impact of high oil prices on these prices.
This year, Petrobras promoted two fuel adjustments, on January 12 and March 10.
At the beginning of April, the state-owned company reduced the price of cooking gas, considering factors such as exchange rate and price abroad, which changed the parity ratio.