China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) said it expects the global economic downturn to decrease demand for chemicals, the South China Morning Post reported. Speaking after the company released its third-quarter results – the company earlier posted a 38.7% decline in profits from the year-ago quarter – the company’s Chief Financial Officer Dai Houliang said Beijing’s plans to stimulate the economy would be insufficient to offset the impact of a weaker global economy. "Our petrochemical demand is closely linked to international and domestic economic growth," said Dai. "While Beijing has implemented policies to drive up internal demand, we believe chemicals demand will still rise next year, albeit at a lower rate than in the previous few years." Dai also said Sinopec had applied for an exemption on value-added tax on crude imports as speculation rises that Beijing is planning to cut retail fuel prices.