Contrary Options Exercise Instructions

These summary reports are produced after the various exercise submission deadlines and reflect submitted instructions from clearing firms. The actual exercise and assignment process is run later in the evening and specific results are made available to clearing firms.

Expiring Options Process

All options that are "in-the-money" will be automatically exercised at expiration. "At-the-money" options are considered "out-of-the-money" for exercise and assignment purposes and can only be exercised via contrary instructions as described below.

PLEASE NOTE: Effective March 24, 2017 there will be a significant change in how "At-the-money" CME options on FX futures are treated. For more information please read the advisory at this link.

Contrary Instructions

A contrary instruction must be submitted by the clearing firm when a customer submits a request to exercise an "out-of-the-money" option or to abandon an "in-the-money" option. Contrary instructions are not allowed in some products on the day trading in those products terminates. Abandoned “in-the-money” options and unexercised out-of-the-money options will expire (i.e. do not result in a futures position).

Download a List of Products that Don’t Allow Contrary Instructions on Termination

The submission deadlines for the clearing firms for all exercise and abandonment instructions are:

  • 1:00 pm Eastern for NYMEX Coal contracts (A84,AC8,CQA,IC4,ICC,MFY,MTC,RQA,CLA,RLA)
  • 3:30 p.m. Eastern for NYMEX Brent Crude Oil Futures-Style Margin Option (BZO) contracts
  • 4:30 p.m. Eastern for NYMEX contracts and 4:30 p.m. Eastern for COMEX contracts
  • 5:00 p.m. Central for Chicago Board of Trade FLEX contracts
  • 6:00 pm Eastern for NYMEX Coal Contacts (CPF,RPF)
  • 6:00 p.m. Central for Chicago Board of Trade non-FLEX contracts
  • 7:00 p.m. Central for CME contracts

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