Home Truck drivers strike sabotages privatization of Petrobras refineries

Truck drivers strike sabotages privatization of Petrobras refineries

30 May 2018 to 14: 54
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Investors retreated from the purchase of the 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 striking for a reduction in derivative prices, it is hardly feasible to believe that any investor will dissociate the two strategies. “Our goal is to generate value for shareholders in the medium and long term. We are not dogmatic,” said Parente.

The general elections in October are added to the list 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 energy policy will be adopted from 2019 onwards. More: what will be the energy policy not adopted from next year.

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

And the inability to form a price as of yesterday gains even more importance in this account. Without the structure to fight against a company that will have three-quarters of the market, a possible future investor – in a situation like Petrobras' take on diesel prices – needs to follow the decision or lose market share. In a business with tight margins 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 a tender's final price for your refining units. The perception is that the deal will now face much more difficulty to materialize. “This decision poses a political risk to the deal that could even make it unfeasible,” commented an analyst who requested anonymity.

This Thursday (24/5) truck drivers entered the fourth day of demonstrations against the high price of fuel. In Brasilia, 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, informed that, since the beginning of this Wednesday (23), the state's filling stations have not received fuel, and there is a 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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