(MENAFN) Brazil's Petrobras' CEO, Maria das Gracas Foster, stated that during the current month, the company's imports of gasoline soared by 56 percent from November, reported Reuters.
Although the state-led oil firm has been promised to increase fuel prices next year, and while it gained approval for its first wholesale fuel-price hike in 6 years in June, the company still sells fuel lower than world-market price.
Therefore, every barrel of imports adds to the accumulated losses that exceeded USD8 billion in 2012 by Petrobras' refining and supply unit.
Foster said that it may take the Rio de Janeiro-based firm until 2016 to receive its full, planned hikes in gasoline and diesel prices, adding that the firm's (2012-2016) business plan was based on getting a rise of 15 percent in this period.
She noted that the sooner the company gets price hikes the better, as giant offshore discoveries near Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo didn't help in boosting production, which declined in 2012, whereas new fields are behind schedule.
In the month through December 21, Petrobras' gasoline imports averaged 178,000 barrels per day (bpd) and are 56 percent higher than in November, with the figure expected to bring the annual average fuel purchases to over 80,000 bpd, which will increase more next year.