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Gasoline shortage and the price of petrol are fuelling the biggest price rise in Brazil’s history, according to a report by the Brazilian government.
Gasoline prices surged on Tuesday to an average of 5,500 reals ($15) per gallon on the black market, and the country’s largest refinery, Esso, closed for several weeks, leaving a glut of petrol and diesel.
But prices also rose by 2.2 per cent in the week to July 19, the latest available data show.
Gas prices were also up 1.6 per cent year-on-year in the first half of the year.
“We have had an extremely rapid increase in the price for petrol and gas,” said Roberto Martins, president of the Brazilian Gas Association (IBF).
“I think it’s because the price is higher than the cost of production.”
The rise has been accompanied by a sharp rise in petrol prices across the region.
Gasolina, a company in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, said that by the end of July its prices had doubled in five months.
The company’s president, Julio Cabanilla, said the price hike was the biggest in his company’s history.
“In five months we’ve seen an increase of 2,300 reals [$9.65] a barrel in the last 10 months,” he told Al Jazeera.
“So we had a situation where we were not able to import oil, and we had to import gasoline, and at the same time we had the shortage of fuel.
We were losing money, and now it’s even worse.”
“The problem is that there is no gas in the market,” said Cabanillas son, Julio, who has a son in the industry.
Brazil has been grappling with a shortage of cheap gas since last November. “
I hope the government can do something to prevent this from happening in the future.”
Brazil has been grappling with a shortage of cheap gas since last November.
In July alone, the Brazilian Government’s energy minister said the country had “the most severe crisis in our energy security since the beginning of the century”.
The crisis, which is expected to worsen as the winter months approach, has led to the worst winter on record for the country.
The government is spending $US10 billion ($11.4 billion) to help fuel its economy and fight the fires of poverty.