China National Petroleum Corp plans to cut capital spending by more than 10 per cent next year as it takes advantage of lower input costs in expansion projects, and slow down capacity growth amid falling demand for fuel and petrochemicals. Zhou Jiping, the deputy general manager of CNPC, the parent of listed oil refiner PetroChina, told an internal investment management work meeting on Tuesday that the budget cut was prompted by the global economic downturn. 'To counter the international financial crisis and the domestic economic slowdown, we are forced to adjust our investment plan and increase investment return,' he said. Mr Zhou said CNPC would seek to cut costs in various stages of the investment process, from project design to materials procurement, construction and project management. 'We must take advantage of slumping prices of all sorts of materials and realise a more than 10 per cent cut in our investment spending,' Mr Zhou said. Mainland brokerage China International Capital Corp has forecast that next year's average cement price on the mainland will fall 11 per cent from this year, while that of steel would tumble 28 per cent. A spokesman for PetroChina said the rapid decline in international crude oil prices would prompt the company to adjust its capital expenditure budget next year, but he stressed any cut would not be 'substantial'. He declined to elaborate. In August, Mr Zhou, who is also the president of PetroChina, said the company would cut this year's capital spending by 10 per cent, as its profitability was hurt by massive refining losses arising from high crude prices and state control on retail fuel prices. PetroChina has budgeted 207.9 billion yuan of capital expenditure for this year. Shenyin Wanguo Securities analyst Yu Chunmei expected that most of the budget cut would come from upstream oil and gas exploration and production, as some high-cost fields that are unprofitable at current oil price levels would be shut. Progress in some refining and petrochemical projects might also be slowed to adjust for slumping demand, the analyst said.