What is 'e-CBOT'

The e-CBOT is an electronic trading platform for trading futures and options contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). Traders may use the e-CBOT system to trade metals, agricultural, and financial products, including flour, corn, rice, hay, soybeans, wheat, silver, gold, and ethanol. Financial derivatives such as emission allowances, interest rate swaps and futures, and Dow Jones index futures and options on futures are also available for trade.


The more modern, electronic trading platform, e-CBOT, has nearly replaced the original open outcry method used to match buyers and sellers. Most daily contracts now traded via this automated system, where traders and dealers buy and sell contracts by bidding or offering a price and a quantity for the contracts. 

The e-CBOT facilitates the futures market, giving its participants, known as hedgers, a way to manage risk. The hedgers buy or sell commodity contracts to protect against the possibility of future unfavorable price changes in corn or wheat, for example. Typically those who hedge the market are users of the underlying commodity.

Speculators participate in the market as well. The difference with speculators is that they merely bet on which way they think prices are going to go. They have no interest in holding the physical asset they are trading. However, their participation is particularly important because they bring liquidity to the market.

Open Outcry Gives Way to e-CBOT 

For most of the Chicago Board of Trade's (CBOT’s) history, which dates to April 3, 1948, trading took place via open outcry in one of the exchange's octagonal trading pits. During open outcry, the traders in the pit announce the number of contracts they want to buy, or to sell, and the price they want to pay, or to receive, for that asset. 

These traders signal, using their fingers, to denote the quantity of contracts, the price, and other information. If a trader’s palm faces out, it is an attempt to sell contracts. It is a buy signal when the trader’s palm faces in. 

For example, a trader who wants to buy ten contracts at a price of eight would call out "eight-for-ten," stating the price before quantity. The trader would turn a palm inward toward their face and put an index finger to the forehead to indicate 10-contract quantity. If a trader wanted to buy one contract, they would put an index finger to the chin. 

If the trader wanted to sell five contracts at a price of eight, the trader would call out "five-at-eight," noting quantity before price. In this scenario, the trader would show a palm facing outward and hold up five fingers.

Trade via open outcry is from 7:20 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, which is limited compared to the e-CBOT’s 22-hour trading day.

  1. Open Outcry

    A vanishing method of trading at stock or futures exchanges involving ...
  2. Futures Contract

    An agreement to buy or sell the underlying commodity or asset ...
  3. Futures

    A financial contract obligating the buyer to purchase an asset ...
  4. Cash Contract

    A cash contract is a financial arrangement that requires delivery ...
  5. Open Interest

    Open interest is the total number of options and/or futures contracts ...
  6. Closing Range

    Closing range refers to the range of high and low prices, or ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Trading gold and silver futures contracts

    Gold and silver futures contracts offer a world of profit-making opportunities for those interested in hedging securities or a speculative plays.
  2. Trading

    The Death Of The Trading Floor

    Electronic trading has almost completely replaced face-to-face human trading.
  3. Trading

    An Introduction To Trading Forex Futures

    We explain what forex futures are, where they are traded, and the tools you need to successfully trade these derivatives.
  4. Trading

    Beginner's Guide To Trading Futures

    An in-depth look into what futures are, and how you can build a solid base to begin trading them.
  5. Investing

    Grow Your Finances in the Grain Markets

    Hedging with futures can protect buyers and sellers of commodities from adverse price movements.
  6. Trading

    Take A Tour Of The Futures Trading Pit

    Discover why controlled chaos can mean an exciting investment experience for you.
  7. Trading

    Minis Provide Low-Cost Entry To Futures Market

    These contracts provide access to commodities without a huge capital commitment.
  1. What's the difference between the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and the Chicago Mercantile ...

    Read about the CBOT and Mercantile exchanges; both are futures exchanges that offer different futures contracts and specialize ... Read Answer >>
  2. What does a futures contract cost?

    Learn about values of futures contracts and the initial margin a trader must place in an account to open a futures position, ... Read Answer >>
  3. How are futures used to hedge a position?

    Futures contracts are one of the most common derivatives used to hedge risk. Learn how futures contracts can be used to limit ... Read Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between open interest and volume?

    Learn how to interpret the relationships between price, volume and open interest in the options and futures markets. Read Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between options and futures?

    An option gives a buyer the right, but not the obligation to buy or sell an asset, A futures contract obligates the buyer ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center