Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd (ONGC) has sold 35,000 tons of naphtha for Aug. 5-6 loading from Hazira to Total at premium of about US$33/ton above Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, the highest in about two months, as per Reuters. The higher premium is in line with market expectations, as demand has strengthened on high cracker operating rates. Cracker run rates have increased due to improved petrochemical margins and the closure of a top refinery in Japan, causing naphtha supply to shrink. JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp started to shut down secondary units at its 240,200 bpd Mizushima-B refinery after it discovered that inspection records were not properly kept. This has forced Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp to seek spot cargoes to fill the supply gap.