Explaining Brazil #203: The president v. Petrobras

While the price of gas isn't exactly the best metric to understand the economy at large, the ubiquity of fuel and its direct impact on people's monthly budgets make it an easy shorthand for the broader economic scenario — especially when prices are going up

It doesn’t matter if you live in Brazil, other parts of Latin America, the U.S., or Europe, fuel prices have skyrocketed across the world.

Western sanctions on Russian oil following its invasion of Ukraine in February have led to lower crude production and refinery output and have severely disrupted oil flows around the world, pushing prices up. Inflation has become a hot-button issue everywhere, from France, to the U.S., to Brazil. 

In Brazil, a standard tank of gasoline now costs around one-third of the minimum wage. 

President Jair Bolsonaro is up for re-election this year and is trailing in the polls. Trying to convince the public to give him a second term, he’s found himself a scapegoat for the fuel price crisis: Petrobras, the oil and gas company controlled by his own government.

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  • Cedê Silva is a contributor in Brasília for The Brazilian Report. He has worked for O Antagonista, O Estado de S.Paulo, Veja BH, and YouTube channel MyNews.

This episode used music from Uppbeat. License codes: NVWKAYRZICGPQFUX, SPNJHEAQRMDVBXYL, RZBYDTYGV2DXQBVX.

Background reading on Petrobras:

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