UPDATE 1-Petrobras CEO says ethanol key to reducing gasoline imports

lunes 6 de julio de 2015 15:52 GYT

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SAO PAULO, July 6 (Reuters) - Aldemir Bendine, chief executive of Brazil's state-run oil firm Petrobras, said on Monday that ethanol biofuel would be key to reducing the company's dependence on imported gasoline.

Bendine also reiterated Petrobras' commitment to maintain fuel prices in line with market forces. Fuel prices in Brazil are currently below international market levels, creating a price cap for ethanol and restricting the sector's margins.

Bendine spoke briefly at the 2015 Ethanol Summit at a time when Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the company is formally known, is trying to reduce its reliance on foreign gasoline to supply the domestic fuel market.

Petrobras is also trying to sell its stake in sugar and ethanol producer Guarani SA as part of its effort to shed $3 billion in assets this year and $13.7 billion by the end of 2016.

"We are looking to go back to the company's core. There is a very strong effort to recover profitability," Bendine said. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira and Luciano Costa; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Bernard Orr and Alan Crosby)