* State-led oil company imports 80,000-90,000 barrels/day
* Pasadena, Texas refinery part of plan to sell assets
RIO DE JANEIRO Nov 29 Brazil's state-led
Petrobras is importing 80,000 to 90,000 barrels of
gasoline a day, an amount likely to increase over the next two
months, the oil company's chief executive said on Thursday.
Rising demand and a reduction in the amount of ethanol
blended into Brazilian gasoline have caused imports to soar this
year. Imports, combined with the government's refusal to let
Petrobras raise domestic fuel prices in line with world
benchmarks, has saddled its refining division with more than 17
billion reais ($8.10 billion) in losses this year.
Petrobras CEO Maria das Graças Foster told reporters in Rio
de Janeiro that consumption keeps growing. "Imports are strong
and there is a tendency for them to grow by January," Foster
The company, which is controlled by the government but also
has private shareholders, has no timetable for increasing
gasoline and diesel prices, Foster said.
Petrobras' Pasadena refinery in Texas is part of a package
of U.S. assets that the company is trying to sell, although it
has no timeline for when the plant may be sold, Foster said.
Petrobras preferred shares, the company's most-traded class
of stock, rose 1.45 percent to 18.92 reais in Sao Paulo trading
on Thursday on the BM&FBovespa exchange, its second day of gains
after reaching a two-month low on Tuesday.