March 17          Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:18pm

(Reuters) – Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras is likely to import an average of 150,000 to 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) of diesel fuel in 2014, as much as 14 percent less than the 174,000 bpd average in 2013, an industry source with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters.

Petrobras gasoline imports are likely to nearly double to 60,000 bpd in 2014 from 32,000 bpd in 2013, said the source, who is not authorized to speak to the press.

Brazilian demand for imports should fall with the expected beginning of operations of the RNEST Refinery outside Recife in Brazil’s northeast in the fourth quarter, the source said.