According to the Retail Fuel Merchants’ Syndicate (Sindicomb), the problems that the Brazilian federal government has been facing in trying to deal with successive increases in the price of alcohol and the possibility of short supplies arise from the lack of a regulatory reserve in Brazil.
In an interview with the Agência Brasil, the president of the association, José Luiz Mota Afonso, regretted the fact that, once again, the final consumer will end up being the loser.
"The big problem is the regulatory reserve. Alcohol is an agricultural product, like soybeans. And we don’t have any problem with soybeans in the inter-harvest period, because in this case the government maintains regulatory reserves, so the price doesn’t vary.
"Since the government hasn’t formed a regulatory reserve for alcohol, what happens is that, once again, the country falls into the hands of the sugar mill owners," the association leader explains.
Mota Afonso accuses the mill owners, which he defines as "a group of between three and five," of dominating the sector and having no sense of responsibility toward the country.
"Just like ten years ago, when they drove the Pro-Alcohol program into the ground. The price of sugar abroad was higher than the price of alcohol, and they preferred selling sugar.
"They are totally devoid of a sense of responsibility toward the country. While we gas station owners see our businesses shut or receive fines, they sit around dictating rules that the government can’t do anything about," he said.