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Japan's imports of spaghetti hit a record high in 2020, apparently due to people refraining from going out amid the novel coronavirus crisis.

According to preliminary data from Yokohama Customs, spaghetti imports in the first 11 months of last year totaled 154,505 tons, already exceeding the previous annual record high of 138,037 tons, marked in 2017, by about 10%. With spaghetti remaining highly popular, imports are expected to continue growing, officials of the customs office said.

At supermarkets and other shops, sales of spaghetti have been expanding since March last year, when the coronavirus started to spread in Japan. Imports, mainly from Italy, posted double-digit, year-on-year growth each month between March and September.

On top of spaghetti, imports of macaroni are also on an uptrend, totaling 12,004 tons in January-November 2020, more than the annual record high of 11,529 tons, set in 2016.

With more and more people opting to cook themselves amid the trend to work from home to reduce the risk of infection with the coronavirus, spaghetti is increasingly popular, including among those living alone, because it can be eaten after being boiled and mixed with ready-to-made sauce.

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