Steel's share of the multistorey non-residential market has risen to more than 70%, its highest ever level, despite warnings that its rising price may persuade more contractors to use concrete in the future.

According to a report by Construction Markets, a market research consultant, steel's share of this sector is now at 70.4% compared with 69.2% the previous year. Concrete's share remained static at 16.9% over the period.

Steels success comes despite a 60% rise in the cost of fabricated steelwork over the course of last year.

Alan Todd, the general manager of Corus, said: "The survey results confirm that for clients and construction teams in the key multistorey markets, steel is valued as a framing material above all others combined. The recognised benefits of steel are clearly getting across."

The figures cover all buildings of two or more storeys in the office, retail, health, education and leisure sectors.

Apart from insitu concrete and steel, masonry is at 8%, precast concrete 2.2% and timber 2.1%.

The results confirm that steel is valued as a framing material above all others

Alan Todd, Corus

The steel figures were boosted by a strong rise in steel's share of the multistorey offices market. Overall, 71.9% of office buildings were framed in steel. This included a 74.1% share of the market for office buildings of six storeys and above, compared with 71.9% in 2004.

European steel group Arcelor this week rejected a *18.6bn (£12.7bn) bid from Mittal Steel, the largest steelmaker in the world.

Guy Dollé, Arcelor's chief executive, said he would now try and persuade shareholders that the business would be better run by the current management than by Mittal.