Potash Corp./Saskatchewan (USA) (NYSE:POT) is bucking the broad-market trend lower, up 0.6% at $33.49, as some speculate that Western sanctions against Russia could translate into a boon for non-Russian potash suppliers. Against this backdrop, POT calls are trading at more than double the normal rate, with 22,000 contracts exchanged. What's more, the stock's 30-day at-the-money implied volatility (IV) is 12.3% higher at 22.2%, underscoring the escalating demand for POT's short-term contracts.
Most popular thus far is the weekly 3/7 33.50-strike call, where close to 7,200 contracts have traded, primarily on the ask side. Volume has outstripped open interest at the strike, and IV was last seen 6.5 percentage points higher, hinting at newly bought bullish bets.
By purchasing the calls to open, the speculators expect POT to extend today's climb through the end of the week, at which point the options will expire. Risk is limited to the initial premium paid for the contracts, should Potash Corp./Saskatchewan (USA) (NYSE:POT) remain south of $33.50 through Friday's close. However, the stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 19% sits just 7 percentage points from an annual low, suggesting POT's short-term options are attractively priced right now, relatively speaking.