Brazil’s Petrobras will keep its fuel pricing policy unchanged, the company’s new head of trading and logistics said on Friday, though prices will not be adjusted with the same frequency as during some past periods.
President Jair Bolsonaro fired Petroleo Brasileiro SA’s previous CEO Roberto Castello Branco in February amid a dispute over domestic fuel prices, triggering a management shake-up.
Logistics head Claudio Mastella said prices would be kept in line with the international market, with daily monitoring but without a pre-established periodicity for adjustments.
In practice, the position marks a middle ground between the daily adjustments favored by the market and the low-frequency ones preferred by consumers.
“We’ve carried out various frequencies of fuel price adjustments,” Mastella told analysts following the company’s first-quarter results.
“…Today, we are at an intermediate level, which seems appropriate to us…. In practice, that means no immediate passing of international oscillations onto consumers while also keeping our prices competitive.”
Mastella and others on the state-run oil company’s board were making their first public appearance since they were appointed in April, when Castello Branco finally left the company.
But Friday teleconference’s with analysts was notable for the absence of new CEO Joaquim Silva e Luna, who recorded a message by video in Portuguese and did not take questions.
The executive board said Petrobras would maintain its oil production and debt reduction targets, and there will be no interruptions to its divestment program.
Petrobras’ Brazil-listed preferred shares were up 3.8% in midday trade, outperforming Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa equities index (.BVSP), which was up 0.7%. All of those gains occurred at market opening.
The company posted a first-quarter profit of $220 million on Thursday night and beat margin estimates.
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