Natural gas futures retreated in early trading Wednesday amid forecasts for mild temperatures and lower weather-driven demand starting next week. The May Nymex contract was down 3.3 cents to $2.694/MMBtu at around 8:45 a.m. ET.

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The latest 15-day forecast from Bespoke Weather Services remained essentially unchanged early Wednesday, albeit with a slight change in the warmer direction to drop a small amount of demand from the outlook.

“The themes remain the same, with a colder than normal balance of the week, focused most strongly in the middle of the nation, followed by a warming trend that takes national demand back toward normal levels at the very end of April and the start of May,” Bespoke said.

While the point in the season when cooling degree days (CDD) begin to drive...