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How to identify the Futures Front Month Contract
How to identify the Futures Front Month Contract
Updated over a week ago

We understand that different traders have different criteria for identifying which contract is the front-month. At Topstep, we define the front-month as the contract that currently has the most volume, and we require traders to be in the front-month.

The steps below list how to identify the Futures front-month contract at Topstep:

  • Identifying the contract month with the most volume is the first step in identifying the correct product symbol to trade. An easy way to do this is to view the product quote page from the CME website. Below are links to the CME page you can use to verify the volume of our supported products.

The image below shows an example from October 2019 which illustrates December as the front-month based on the highest volume among the available contract months at that given time.


  • Next, you need to Identify the Contract Symbol Month Code. From the example above you would use Z for December.

January - F

May - K

September - U

February - G

June - M

October - V

March - H

July - N

November - X

April - J

August - Q

December - Z

  • The next step is to build your full product symbol. Combine the Product Symbol and Month code from the contract that has the most volume at that given time, and add the year. If you are trading Crude Oil (CL) and the front month is December you would trade CLZ9 or CLZ19 (depending on your platform.)

Tip: Some platforms will use "9" for 2019 and others will use "19".

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