What is a back month future?

In short, it means a later month

When trading futures, there is typically an active month contract, which is also known as the front month. However, if you don't want to trade the active month, then you can also trade a back month contract.


The tastyworks platform defaults outright futures contracts to the active month. When you type in the futures contract symbol, such as /ES, then the platform will quote the active month, allowing you to line up trades quickly. To trade or look up a quote of a back month contract (further in time), type the month and year code.


How to enter a back month futures trade

Type the corresponding month and year code

For example, if the active month for /ES is /ESZ8 (E-mini S&P future-Dec. 2018), but if you want to trade June 2019 contract, then you must enter /ESM9 instead.


To view a list of available future contracts and a guide to month codes, then please click here.