CARSON CITY — Gold and precious metals continued to reign as Nevada biggest export commodity in 2015, amounting to roughly half of all exports for the year, according to a report released Friday by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Total state exports amounted to $8.6 billion, up 12.5 percent from the nearly $7.7 billion in goods exported from Nevada in 2014.
Nevada is the largest gold producer in the United States, with sales last year of $3.9 billion, the report said. But gold prices have been on the decline the past several years, and last year's gold exports were down from $5.4 billion in 2012.
Nevada's second largest export last year was electrical machinery, circuits, sound and television equipment and parts, a category valued at $1.3 billion. Exports of toys, games and sport equipment, parts and accessories was third at nearly $494 million.
The report also shows big gains for smaller industries such as dyed woven fabrics, which saw sales jump to $2.7 million in 2015, up from $9,750 the year before. Exports of artificial flowers shot up to $868,000 from $4,500 in 2014, while the sale of parachutes totaled nearly $416,000, up from $2,580.
On the flip side, exports of certain types of lathes; parts for electronic calculating machines; rangefinders; armored vehicles and parts; and petroleum resins all suffered declines of at least 98 percent.
Nevada imports in 2015 were $9.6 billion, with some of the same commodities that were big exports also topping the import list.
Imports of electric machinery, sound and TV equipment and parts were $2.6 billion. Precious stones and metals totaled $620 million, and imports of toys, games and sport equipment were $454 million.
Sales of live animals bought in Nevada totaled $11.3 million, a reflection of the state's ranching and farming industry. Cattle accounted for $9.9 million.
Vegetable imports rose 15 percent from last year to $10.5 million, more than double the 2011 value.