RIO DE JANEIRO, RJ (FOLHAPRESS) – The rise in the international price of propane, the raw material for cooking gas, puts pressure on cylinder prices, which are already approaching R$100, on average, in the country. In some more distant places, this value is already practiced. Despite this increase weighing on the consumer’s pocket, the market sees a large gap in domestic prices and expects a new readjustment soon.
Driven by Chinese demand for petrochemical raw materials, the price of propane in the Gulf of Mexico region, in the United States, rose almost 15% in one month. In 2021, the value of the product has a cumulative high of 96%.
Prices for this fuel tend to rise during winter in the northern hemisphere, when demand for heating grows.
“This year, however, prices have risen during the summer months, when stocks are normally replenished, due to high international demand and lower global supply,” says the US Department of Energy.
The movement, says the department’s information agency, is global. The imbalance between rising demand and reduced production, he says, has led prices in Asia and Europe to more than double within a year.
Thus, the trend is for the high prices to remain in the coming months, with possible impacts for the Brazilian consumer, who has already been suffering from the internal escalation amidst a scenario of high unemployment.
Petrobras has not readjusted the price of cooking gas since the beginning of July, when it promoted an increase of 6%, and has been operating below the import parity calculated by the ANP (National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency) for three consecutive weeks.
Last week, its sale price in Santos, one of the two import points for the product in the country, was 7% below the value considered adequate by the regulatory agency. Companies in the sector, however, say that the difference is even greater, considering that the state-owned company has gains in efficiency in imports.
Petrobras has been repeating that it maintains its policy of alignment with international quotations, but “it seeks to avoid the immediate transfer to internal prices of external volatility caused by cyclical events”.
The state-owned company also claims that the concept of import parity varies according to the structure and commercial efficiency of a company. During part of the year, according to ANP data, Petrobras practiced gas prices above the import parity.
Last week, the company was criticized by the president of the Central Bank, Roberto Campos Neto, and by the president of the Chamber, Arthur Lira (DEM-AL) for moving prices too often. Lira even suggested that the company should “share with the Brazilian people a little of its wealth”.
Although Petrobras has not changed the price of cooking gas since July, the product continues to rise in resale. Last week, the canister hit R$ 98.33, an increase of 1.5% compared to the previous week and 5% in a month.
In 2021 alone, the average price of a 13-kilogram cylinder rose by 30%. In the year, Petrobras increased its refinery price by 38%, following the oil recovery and the exchange rate devaluation.
The scenario has led low-income families to opt for firewood or charcoal for cooking, which prompted an effort in Congress to pass a subsidy for the purchase of fuel.
Last week, federal deputy Christino Áureo (PP-RJ) concluded a report on a bill that creates the Gas Social program, which would guarantee half the value of the cylinder to those enrolled in the government’s social programs with resources from oil royalties and Cide (Contribution charged on the sale of fuels).