CHICAGO, Dec 14 - Chicago Mercantile Exchange lumber futures closed steady to slightly higher on Monday in continued light dealings with rolling of long January positions into May accounting for the bulk of volume, traders said.
* Slow cash trade kept many traders on the sideline and light trade is seen continuing as holidays approach.
* Cash prices slipped after running up following the Canadian rail strike, but futures have found some technical support after falling sharply last week.
* We're at an area of support on the charts and it's not any wonder after dropping $35 off the high quite quickly that we are loosing the downward momentum, said Curt Cunningham, president of Pacific Futures Trading
* January lumber 2LBF0 closed unchanged at $214 per thousand board feet and March 2LBH0 was up 60 cents at $239.10.
* Random Lengths on Friday reported the cash spruce price at $227 per tbf, down $5 from last week.
* Sales of framing lumber cooled as many buyers had covered their needs through the end of the year. Mills' extended shipment times and higher quotes gave buyers additional cause to hold back, Random Length said.
* Frigid weather led to production problems in the West, particularly in the Coast region. But snow and ice hammered the Midwest, striking a blow to late-fall consumption, the reporting agency added in its weekly report.
* In other news, Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO) and the union representing 1,700 locomotive engineers will submit unresolved wage and benefits issues to binding arbitration after talks failed to yield a deal, the company said on Sunday. [ID:nN13133207] (Reporting by Jerry Bieszk; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)