Natural gas dropped on Monday as crude oil prices declined and on forecasts for mild weather that will reduce demand for the heating fuel.

Natural gas for April delivery fell by 6.3 percent, or 62.2 cents, to $9.246 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Crude oil declined by 6 percent today on concern that the U.S. economy was declining.

Demand for gas in the U.S. and Canada was forecasted to decline as dry and warmer weather sets-in with the end of winter this week.

Gas has increased by 28 percent this year as stockpiles declined during the coldest months.

Gas stocks declined around the world after JPMorgan Chase&Co. agreed to buy Bear Stearns Cos. for $2 a share and the Federal Reserve cut its discount rate at an emergence weekend meeting.

Increasing supplies of natural gas from domestic production were forecasted to push the prices down.

Natural gas prices were forecasted to be about $6.64 per million Btu in 2008, and that high production would allow gas supplies to be rebuilt enough over the warm-weather months to meet needs next winter, when demand is the highest.