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Gas prices at Army and Air Force Exchange Service pumps on Guam jumped by as much as 18 cents this week, reflecting even larger increases in off-base prices.

AAFES’s price for a gallon of regular unleaded rose to $3.279 Friday from $3.099 the previous week. Prices for midgrade unleaded and premium unleaded also rose 13 cents and 9 cents, respectively.

In Japan, the price for midgrade unleaded at AAFES pumps rose 6.9 cents, while in Korea, the cost of regular and premium unleaded decreased slightly.

Guam prices have risen steadily since the end of October, when $2.86 bought a gallon of regular.

According to a Nov. 28 Pacific Daily News article, several brands of gasoline, including Shell, Union 76 and Mobil, have raised their prices as the cost of oil from Singapore suppliers has increased.

Prices at off-base stations on the island are running higher than AAFES prices, with unleaded regular at $3.73 per gallon, according to the article.

“The simple answer for the large price hike on Guam is purely economics,” AAFES Pacific spokesman Master Sgt. Donovan Potter said via e-mail. “AAFES costs went up considerably, so the price at the pump went up considerably.”

Potter explained that unlike in Japan, Okinawa and South Korea, gas on Guam is bought locally instead of through the Defense Energy Support Center, which is why Guam prices fluctuate at a different rate.

“This week’s price on Guam is actually selling at-cost without AAFES making profit,” he said.

AAFES factors in the average cost for gasoline in the United States in setting prices for overseas installations, including those in Japan, Okinawa and South Korea.

According to the U.S. Energy Administration Information Web site (www.eia.doe.gov), the current U.S. national average for a gallon of regular gas is $2.998, a decrease from the previous week’s average of $3.

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