LISBON (Reuters) - Angola is considering cutting subsidies on fuel prices this year, daily newspaper Jornal de Angola reported on Tuesday, citing a senior executive at state oil firm Sonangol.
Subsidies on gasoline and diesel represent around 6 percent of Angola's public spending, with the total cost expected to reach around $4.3 billion this year, according to economists.
The state-owned paper cited Sonangol board member Baptista Sumbe as saying the company has begun discussing cuts with the government recently and it is not yet known whether they will be complete or partial.
Sonangol will be forced to apply international prices if the entire subsidy is cut, Sumbe was quoted as saying.
Angola is Africa's largest oil producer after Nigeria, but limited refining capacity means it imports around 85 percent of the refined fuels it consumes.
Decisions by governments in Africa to cut fuel subsidies have previously led to social unrest. Nigeria's government was forced last year to reinstate some subsidies after cuts sparked several days of strikes and protests.
Angola's last cut of subsidies, in 2010, was not met with significant protest, with the government saying it would adopt a gradual approach.
Sumbe said a total cut in the subsidies would lead to gasoline prices rising to 150 kwanzas per litre from 60 kwanzas, with diesel prices up to 75 kwanzas from 40 kwanzas.
The government and Sonangol plan to take measures to reduce the impact of the cut on Angolans' finances, he added, without providing further details.