U.S. motorists across Europe may experience sticker shock at gasoline pumps on "Black Friday."

In a good way.

On the day after Thanksgiving, when many start their holiday shopping, fuel prices for all grades will drop between 12 cents and a whopping $1.89 per gallon at Army and Air Force Exchange Service stations from the United Kingdom to the Azores, AAFES announced late Wednesday.

In Germany, "floor" prices are out the door. The new price of $2.10 a gallon for regular unleaded — a 43-cent drop — is based on the current weekly retail average stateside plus a 20.9-cent incremental dispensing cost, according to the exchange.

The exchange was able to shave prices in Germany after Esso, its in-country fuel supplier, reduced its monthly wholesale contract with AAFES, according to the exchange. AAFES officials would not say by how much its fuel costs in Germany declined.

The heftiest price drops will be seen in the Azores and Turkey. After midnight Thursday, a gallon of premium goes to $3.099 in the Azores and $3.018 in Turkey, a retail savings of $1.83 and $1.82 per gallon, respectively.

Diesel in Turkey drops by $1.89 a gallon to $3.108 a gallon.

AAFES in the Azores and Turkey purchases fuel from the U.S. Defense Energy Support Center. Retail gas prices in those locations change only when DESC prices fluctuate.

DESC recently announced that its standard price of fuel, as determined by the Defense Comptroller’s Office, would drop Dec. 1 from $170.94 to $104.58 per barrel. The former price had been in effect since July. As a result, the new DESC price for premium gas is $2.88 a gallon, according to a DESC memorandum.

AAFES officials noted that weekly fuel adjustments in Germany usually go into effect Saturday. But with DESC prices set to drop Monday, the exchange wanted to extend the significant cost savings to motorists in Turkey and the Azores as soon as possible and decided to implement new prices across the board in Europe on Friday, officials said.

AAFES midgrade gas in the Netherlands and U.K. will go down by about 22 and 18 cents a gallon, respectively, Friday.

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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