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Agosto 2019
* Gasoline sales up 17.8 percent in 2010
* Strong demand seen continuing in coming months
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Brazilian state oil company Petrobras (PETR4.SA)(PBR.N) said on Wednesday that its 2010 sales of gasoline and jet fuel jumped from the previous year and will remaan strong in coming months as the country'seconomic expansion spurs demand for oil products.


Sales of gasoline to the domestic market jumped 17.8 percent as Brazil's light vehicle fleet expanded, and as highersugarcane ethanol prices led drivers of "flex-fuel" cars, which run on ethanol and gasoline, to switch to the fossil fuel. "Expectations for the coming months indicate the market will remain heated, as a result of a larger fleet of motorvehicles" and the end of the sugarcane harvest that often coincides with lower supplies of ethanol, Petrobras said.

Sales of jet fuel rose 16.6 percent from the year before,as Brazil's expanding middle class boosted air travel. Brazil, which normally exports gasoline, briefly importedthe fuel in 2010 due to a combination of rising domestic demandand limited supplies of ethanol.

A government energy official in November said authorities did not expect gasoline imports in the near future because ethanol inventories had risen. Growing fuel demand in Brazil over the long term may limit Petrobras' ability to become a major exporter of oil and fue leven as it ramps up production at vast offshore fields.

The company plans nearly to double oil output in Brazil by 2020 through an ambitious plan to tap billions of barrels of oil held in deep water reserves, though analysts say it usually struggles to meet its output targets.


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