PLAYING down the impact of the nationwide surge in prices since November, a State Council body has forecast a moderate rise of 10 per cent in price levels next year. The State Price Information Centre said there would be no major market fluctuations if the state was able to impose macro-economic control and adjustments timely and appropriately. The overall level of prices will only go up steadily and slowly, according to its latest forecast, carried by the China News Service. ''If the macro-control and adjustment is not done properly the inflationary pressure will remain strong,'' it said. The centre stressed that stabilising grain prices was pivotal to the maintenance of an overall stable price level. Grain and staple food prices rose sharply since November, triggering an inflationary rise of virtually all commodity prices and panic-buying of products such as home appliances. A Hong Kong China News Agency report said pork prices were expected to be stable in the run-up to the Lunar New Year, following price fluctuations since the middle of this year. It quoted officials as saying authorities at all levels had stepped up efforts to ensure adequate supply and stable prices during the festive season. Pro-China newspapers in Hong Kong yesterday reported that authorities in Fujian and the central city of Wuhan have taken measures to lower grain prices. In Fujian, state-owned shops have been ordered to put an upper limit on the prices of daily necessities such as grain, flour and edible oil, starting yesterday. Hit by a 60 per cent surge in rice prices, Wuhan officials held an emergency meeting to stabilise prices. A report said retail prices in some grain shops quickly had dropped by one-third. According to government analysts, the China News Service said, agricultural production and prices of farm produce would remain stable if there was no major disaster and state agricultural policies are fully implemented. ''So long as the prices of agricultural products are stable there will be no major fluctuations of market prices,'' it said. The report said although the supply and demand of the commodity market would remain balanced, the populace would continue to hold the view that prices would go up. ''However there will be no blind panic-buying,'' it said. It explained that the supply of 90 per cent of major consumer products was adequate. In the face of high interest rates, it said people would tend to save more in their own pockets. Another factor, it said, was the introduction of the civil service system, which would be followed by an across-the-board pay rise for government cadres. The increased purchasing power of the millions of civil servants will make an impact on national price levels, the report said. However, Government analysts fear that the fiscal reforms could push up production costs and trigger further price hikes.