(Corrects pricing in paragraphs 7, 8 to tonnes)
* Red Kite co-founder: supply of copper scrap grew earlier
* Adds that scrap supply is tighter now
* Says overall copper availability hit by mine disruptions
* Says "hard to be optimistic" on outlook for nickel prices
HONG KONG, May 10 Supply of copper scrap has
tightened recently after growing in the first quarter, while
disruptions at major mines earlier in 2017 are hitting
availability of the metal, the co-founder of metals hedge fund
RK Capital Management, said on Wednesday.
Crimped supply of copper, used in everything from wiring to
construction, would drag on prices that have eased this
year after surging in 2016.
"We are hearing that scrap availability has tightened up.
Some of the disruptions to mine supply in the first quarter will
be felt in metal supply now," David Lilley said at the LMEWeek
Asia conference in Hong Kong.
A strike at the world's biggest copper mine in Chile and a
dispute over mining rights in Indonesia hit copper markets
earlier in the year.
Meanwhile, Lilley said that it was "hard to be optimistic"
on the outlook for nickel prices given ample inventory
throughout the supply chain and the resumption of exports from
places such as the Philippines.
At least eight nickel mines in the Philippines have been
suspended since last year for environmental breaches under a
crackdown launched by former environment secretary Regina Lopez.
But she was ousted last week by a panel of lawmakers that
"At some stage, the price will do its job of rationing
supply whether that is at $9,000 (per tonne), $8,500 or $8,000,
I'm not sure, somewhere in that range," said Lilley.
International nickel prices stood around $9,225 per tonne on
RK Capital Management is often referred to as Red Kite.
(Reporting by Josephine Mason and Melanie Burton; Editing by