MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras said it will raise gasoline and diesel prices at its refineries starting Wednesday after what it called an "abrupt" increase in global oil prices, said Reuters.
Petrobras said in a statement it will hike average gasoline prices by 16.3% to 2.93 reais (USD0.5893) per liter, while diesel prices will be raised by an average of 25.8% to 3.80 reais per liter.
It is the first price hike by the oil giant since a new pricing policy was implemented under President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who took office in January pledging to change the firm's strategy in order to help it lower consumer costs at the pump.
Petrobras approved the new policy in May, ditching a more market-based strategy in favor of greater flexibility to smooth price swings, but said it had no option other than raising prices this time.
"The consolidation of oil prices at a higher level makes it necessary for Petrobras to make the price adjustments for both fuels," the company said.
Crude oil prices in international markets have registered gains for the past seven weeks. Chief Executive Jean Paul Prates had previously said that even though the new policy would avoid passing international volatility onto customers, Petrobras' fuel prices would not dip "below profitability".
The newly implemented pricing system is meant to be less volatile than its predecessor, which used a so-called fuel import parity policy that more closely aligned prices at the pump with the oil market and exchange rates.
Prates said at the time the company would still adjust prices based on market factors, but the price tweaks would be rolled out more slowly. Petrobras said its gasoline prices are still down roughly 5% year-to-date, while diesel prices have fallen by an accumulated 15.4% in the period.
We remind, Petrobras is not planning to sell its 36% stake in petrochemical firm Braskem, newspaper Valor Economico reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources. Petrobras is one of Braskem's main shareholders alongside conglomerate Novonor, which holds a controlling stake in the firm but has sought to sell it to repay creditors after entering bankruptcy protection. According to Valor Economico, Petrobras CFO Sergio Leite said during a meeting with analysts that the company has no plans to sell off its stake in Braskem.