RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Fuel sales in Brazil increased more than 5 percent in 2014 despite slow economic growth, the national oil regulator ANP said on Tuesday.
“Last year, we saw growth of more than 5 percent, when GDP is estimated at close to zero,” ANP Director Florival Carvalho said on Tuesday. “Fuel consumption in Brazil is robust.”
ANP numbers included diesel, gasoline, ethanol, natural gas, fuel oil, as well as aviation and other fuels. Sales of diesel, the largest by volume of the fuels, rose only modestly at 2.4 percent from 2013 to 60 billion liters.
Gasoline sales by distributors increased 7 percent to 44.4 billion liters, however, and hydrous ethanol sales grew 10.5 percent to 13 billion liters.
Brazil is a regular importer of diesel, gasoline, naphtha and liquefied natural gas to make up for a shortfall in local refining and production.
The economy suffered a minor contraction in the first half of 2014 and grew by only 0.1 percent in the third quarter. Final-quarter gross domestic product figures are due sometime in the next month but are expected to be weak as well. (Reporting by Marta Nogueira; Writing by Reese Ewing; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)