Swiss trader Gunvor exports its first U.S. crude cargo

NEW YORK, March 10 (Reuters) - Swiss trader Gunvor Group Ltd is joining a chorus of trading houses in exporting U.S. crude, marking the latest cargo to leave U.S. shores just months after Congress lifted its four-decade ban on exports.

Gunvor will be lifting domestic sweet crude on an Aframax vessel from Freeport, Texas, in April, a company spokesman said on Thursday. It will be Gunvor’s first U.S. export.

He did not specify the exact date for the export, but said the cargo will go to Panama, where the company owns a stake in a storage facility.

With crude stocks hovering at record levels both at the U.S. storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, and nationwide, and a deepening contango, traders have started running the numbers on how to make exports economical.

Vitol SA, Trafigura and Freepoint Commodities, among others, have moved crude cargoes in recent months to Europe, Latin America and even Asia. (Reporting by Catherine Ngai in New York and Sarah McFarlane in London; Editing by Matthew Lewis)