The value of Japan's imports surged 43.8% in November to hit a record level on higher crude oil costs and the yen's weakness, leading the country to post its largest trade deficit since January 2020, government data showed Thursday.

Imports of goods jumped to ¥8.32 trillion ($72.9 billion), the largest figure since comparable data became available in January 1979, while exports soared 20.5% to ¥7.37 trillion, resulting in a goods trade deficit of ¥954.8 billion, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report.

The trade balance logged red ink for the fourth consecutive month, with imports rising for the 10th straight month on growing prices of crude oil from producers such as the United Arab Emirates.