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Boeing says it has booked 19 new orders for its 777, and it needs to build commercial planes faster to keep up with demand.

Cathay Pacific ordered 12 of the planes. Unidentified customers ordered the other seven 777s.

Boeing now has a backlog of 3,400 planes. Some models are sold out for seven years.

Jim Albaugh, who runs Boeing Co.’s commercial airplane division, said that backlog is too big, and it’s not good to tell customers they have to wait so long.

Boeing is raising production rates. Production of 777s will increase from five per month at the start of this year to more than eight per month by early 2013.

The new 777 orders will be worth more than $5 billion at list prices, although discounts are common.

CROPS

Corn supply tightens for 2012, raising prices

ST. LOUIS | Americans can expect to pay slightly higher food prices next year, because of expectations that an unseasonably hot summer damaged much of this year’s corn crop.

But the rise in grocery prices might not be severe because farmers are sitting on larger supplies ahead of the fall harvest, and demand for corn is falling.

The U.S. Agriculture Department estimated Thursday that the fall harvest won’t yield as much corn as first estimated. High temperatures in key U.S. corn-growing states have damaged about 4 percent of the coming yield.

The price of corn jumped 26 cents to $7.14 a bushel after the report was released. That’s almost twice the price paid last year. But it’s below the record $7.99 reached in June.

UNIONS

Rerun of union vote for Kaiser workers ordered

One of the largest private sector union elections in U.S. history is headed for a do-over.

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