SINGAPORE, July 19 (Reuters) - India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd (ONGC) has sold 35,000 tonnes of naphtha for Aug. 5-6 loading from Hazira to Total at about $33 a tonne above Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, the highest in about two months, traders said on Thursday.
The higher premium was in line with market expectations, as demand has strengthened on high naphtha cracker operating rates due to improved petrochemical margins and the closure of a top refinery in Japan, causing naphtha supply to shrink.
JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp on Tuesday started shutting down secondary units at its 240,200 barrels per day (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. (Reporting by Seng Li Peng;Editing by Clarence Fernandez)