(Recasts with Petrobras pricing controversy)

WASHINGTON, April 12 (Reuters) – Brazil’s central bank chief on Friday refused to wade into a controversy over government meddling in pricing at Brazilian state oil giant Petrobras, but said he favored free market pricing and limited government interference in general.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA canceled a diesel price hike on Friday as President Jair Bolsonaro called for “fair” prices out of concern for truckers, fueling an 8 percent drop in preferred shares of the debt-laden oil company.

Brazilian central bank governor Roberto Campos Neto said it was not his place to comment on the move but said there was no risk of a return to price controls practiced under prior administrations.

“In general, obviously liberal economists believe in market prices