Tata Steel, Europe's second-largest steel producer, has written to its suppliers asking for an immediate 10 percent reduction in their prices and demanding deeper cuts over the longer term, a British newspaper reported on Sunday.
The letter comes as Tata and other steel manufacturers cut jobs in Britain, citing a flood of cheap imports, particularly from China. Job losses and plant closures have pushed the issue up the British political agenda.
"We are seeking a long-term price reduction of 30 percent on all purchases. As a first step we would appreciate an immediate price reduction of 10 percent," the letter said, according to the Sunday Telegraph.
A Tata spokesman said the company had been in discussions with its suppliers for more than a month and had received "an excellent response with positive and innovative ways we can work together".
The newspaper said the letter was signed by the procurement director of Tata Steel Long Products Europe.
"We greatly appreciate your support but also want to stress that we require contribution from all of our suppliers," the newspaper quoted from Tata's letter. "Should you â€“ for any reason â€“ be unable to support us in our efforts, we will need to fully consider other options."
Tata has cut thousands of jobs in Europe since it bought Anglo-Dutch producer Corus in 2007, but is still in business, unlike Britain's second-largest steelmaker, SSI, which went into liquidation last month with the loss of 2,000 jobs.