Start Truckers' strike sabotages privatization of Petrobras refineries

Truckers' strike sabotages privatization of Petrobras refineries

May 30, 2018 2:54 pm to 2:54 pm
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Investors backtracked on the purchase of 4 Petrobras refineries after Parente lowered the price of diesel by 10%

Petrobras' decision to reduce the average value of diesel sold at its refineries by 10% will directly affect its ability to attract investors to buy the four refineries it is selling. Even with the president of the state-owned company, Pedro Parente, stating that the decision was not motivated by pressure from the government or from truck drivers, who are on strike for the reduction in prices of the derivative, it is hardly feasible to believe that any investor will dissociate the two strategies. “Our objective is to generate value for shareholders in the medium and long term. We are not dogmatic,” Parente said.

The October general elections are added to the menu of difficulties for the sale of refineries. Without a clear indication of who will be the new president of the Republic, it is increasingly impossible to know what the energy policy will be adopted from 2019 onwards. More: what will be the energy policy not adopted from next year onwards.

Petrobras is selling 25% of the national refining market share. Whoever takes the units to the South will still have a monopoly in the region and may even consider entering the derivatives distribution market, depending on their own strategy. But with Petrobras with the market's 75% in hand, it will not be able to form a price. And that will certainly go into the account.

And the inability to form a price as of yesterday gains even more importance in this account. With no structure to fight a company that will have three quarters of the market, a possible future investor – in a situation like the one taken by Petrobras for the price of diesel – needs to follow the decision or lose market. In a business with a tight margin such as refining, a risk like this can even make a project unfeasible.

Some risk analysts who participate in the La Jolla Energy Conference, which takes place in San Diego, USA, believe that this risk has now made the deal more expensive for Petrobras. And, of course, you can play down the final price of a proposal for your refining units. The perception is that the deal will now face much more difficulty to materialize. “This decision puts a political risk on the business that could even make it unfeasible,” commented an analyst who requested anonymity.

The truck drivers entered this Thursday (24/5) the fourth day of demonstrations against the high price of fuel. In Brasília, there are records of closed stations, with zero fuel stock. In São Paulo, the president of the state's Petroleum Derivatives Retail Trade Union, José Alberto Paiva Gouveia, reported that, since the beginning of this Wednesday (23), the state's gas stations have not received fuel, and there is stock to operate only for up to three days. In Rio de Janeiro, according to the Municipal Fuel Retail Trade Union (Sindcomb), at least half of the gas stations in the capital will be, this Thursday, without any of the three fuels: gasoline, diesel or ethanol. Source E&P Brazil. GET TO KNOW ALL PETROBRAS REFINERIES IN ACTIVITIES HERE.

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