What is a back month contract?

Back month means a later month

When trading the Smalls or CME 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 future's root contract symbol. For example, when you enter /SM75 or /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

Enter the month code and the last two digits of the year

For example, if the active month for /ES is /ESH20 (E-mini S&P future-Mar. 2020), but you want to trade June 2020 contract, then you must enter /ESM20 instead. 


Or, if you're trying to trade a back month /SM75 contract and the current active contract is /SM75M20 (June 2020), then you would enter /SM75N20 (July 2020). Please note that there are only two available trading months for the Smalls–a front month (active) contract and a back month contract.


To view a list of available Small Exchange products, please click here.

To view a list of available CME futures contracts, please click here.


Futures Month Codes

Enter the month code after the futures root symbol

JanuaryF
FebruaryG
MarchH
AprilJ
MayK
JuneM
JulyN
AugustQ
SeptemberU
OctoberV
NovemberX
DecemberZ