Gas prices in Pacific expected to fall about 50 cents
September 29, 2006
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Drivers in the Pacific can expect a dramatic price drop at base gasoline pumps in October, with the cost of a gallon tumbling about 50 cents.
Starting Oct. 1, an unleaded gallon will cost $2.505 in South Korea and $2.499 in Guam at Army and Air Force Exchange Service gas stations. That’s down from $3.059 in both countries.
The price for Japan and Okinawa still needs to be calculated, but AAFES spokesman Master Sgt. Donovan Potter said Wednesday that drivers can expect a similar decrease in those areas. The current September price is $2.913 for mid-grade — the only unleaded available.
At Navy Exchanges on Guam, prices are dropping at least 54 cents. Regular unleaded will go from $3.059 to $2.499. Mid-grade goes from $3.159 to $2.619, and premium drops from $3.269 to $2.729.
The drop in prices around the Pacific mirrors the trend in the United States, where the average price for a gallon has been declining since a mid-August peak of $3.02.
On Monday the national average in the States was $2.38 per gallon.
AAFES called the stateside average price decrease “sudden and surprising,” so officials decided to base the October prices on an average over the past two weeks, according to a statement from AAFES headquarters in Texas.
AAFES’ monthly pricing formula factors in stateside average prices over the previous four weeks but that wouldn’t “reflect the unprecedented decrease we are seeing in the States,” AAFES spokesman Lt. Col. Dean Thurmond was quoted in the statement as saying.
Each country’s dispensing costs are added to the stateside average to determine the final price for overseas locations.
The cost in Japan and Okinawa wasn’t known as of Wednesday because the area supplier, the Defense Fuel Support Center, has yet to announce the new bulk purchase price for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins in October, Potter said.
Although pump prices for consumers change monthly to reflect market fluctuations, AAFES pays the same amount per gallon to its supplier each month.
That price is set in October and historically has lasted the entire fiscal year. But in the past two years, a mid-year cost adjustment has been made in April, Potter said.
October prices for Japan and Okinawa most likely will not be known until Saturday afternoon, he said.