Price of the naphtha supply agreement
- The naphtha supply agreement of 2009 was negotiated between Petrobras and Braskem and with its competitor at the time, Quattor.
- The two companies signed agreements with identical conditions and therefore gained access to feedstock at the same conditions.
- Petrobras is the only naphtha producer in Brazil, and Quattor and Braskem were the only consumers at the time of the negotiation of the agreement.
- If Petrobras were unable to sell its production in the local market, the state-owned oil producer would be forced to export its naphtha and consequently incur significant logistics costs.
- Likewise, if Braskem and Quattor did not purchase naphtha from Petrobras, they would be forced to import this volume of naphtha and consequently also incur significant logistics costs.
- Therefore, the price range of the supply agreement, from 92.5% to 105% of the ARA reference price, represented the best commercial alternative for this product for both the seller, Petrobras, and the buyers, Braskem and Quattor.
- Based on the statement made by the Federal Police on July 15, already in connection with the investigations of Operation Car Wash, an executive of the technical group of Petrobras itself confirmed that “a price estimated at between 91% and 93% of the ARA reference price would not generate an accounting loss for Petrobras.”
Volume contracted and naphtha imports
- Petrobras is Brazil's only naphtha producer, with production capacity of 11 million metric tons and, since 1999, it supplies approximately 7 million metric tons per year to the country's petrochemical industry, with the remainder used as feedstock for gasoline production.
- It is public knowledge that, as of 2010, the freezing of the price of gasoline in Brazil generated growth in demand for the fuel of approximately 70%, which led Petrobras to go from being an exporter of gasoline to an importer.
- To resolve this imbalance in the fuel industry, which has no relationship with the petrochemical industry, Petrobras took the unilateral decision to use locally produced naphtha, which it had contracted to sell to the petrochemical industry, in order to increase its gasoline production.
- To enable it to fulfill its contractual commitment with the petrochemical industry, Petrobras decided, also unilaterally, to import naphtha to serve the country's industrial sector.
- This decision by Petrobras, according to an internal report by Petrobras, reduced its costs by US$543 million.
- That said, it makes no sense, based on the technical knowledge of Brazil's fuel and petrochemical industries, to declare that Petrobras suffered a loss of R$6 billion.
- Lastly, this issue is not a new matter and was already the subject of ample discussion in the petrochemical industry with the state-owned oil producer and with the government, as well as openly debated in the media.