They’re going up, again.

Most grades of fuel at U.S. military bases in the Pacific climbed 4 to 5 cents a gallon Saturday, to new record highs.

The increase comes as the U.S. average retail price for regular gasoline set another record last week of $3.332 per gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which tracks and forecasts global energy trends.

When the Army and Air Force Exchange Service and Navy Exchange Command adjusted weekly prices for overseas Pacific pumps, mid-grade unleaded fuel in Japan rose 4 cents to $3.249 a gallon. That price sits below the U.S. national average because of a Japanese government discount of 25 cents per gallon.

Regular unleaded, meanwhile, jumped 4.2 cents to $3.397 a gallon in South Korea. On Guam, it went up 5 cents a gallon, to $3.439.

Diesel is the only grade to drop — last week, 0.9 cents — in both Japan and South Korea, to $3.76 and $4.02 a gallon, respectively. Diesel costs less in Japan than in South Korea because of the 25-cent discount.

The higher costs across the Pacific region reflect stateside prices, since AAFES uses a market-based pricing policy.

Pacific motorists should brace for even higher prices this summer if stateside projections hold true.

The EIA forecasts regular gasoline to average $3.54 a gallon over the summer driving months, peaking at just over $3.60 a gallon in June.

Diesel is expected to average about $3.73 a gallon this summer.

For both grades, that’s well above last summer’s averages, when regular was $2.93 per gallon and diesel was an average of $2.85.

The projected higher costs for crude oil should keep petroleum prices high, the EIA noted in its “short-term energy and summer fuels outlook” news release published earlier this month.

High fuel prices, in turn, and the U.S. economic slowdown are expected to reduce U.S. consumption of petroleum by about 210,000 barrels per day in 2008, according to EIA.

Gas pricesMainland Japan and Okinawa Mid-grade unleaded $3.249 (up 3.9 cents)Diesel $3.76 (down 0.9 cent)

South Korea Unleaded $3.397 (up 4.2 cents)Premium unleaded $3.615 (up 3.8 cents)Diesel $4.02 (down 0.9 cents)


Unleaded $3.439 (up 5 cents)Mid-grade unleaded $3.549 (up 4 cents)Premium unleaded $3.649 (up 3 cents)

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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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