CHICAGO, Dec 29 - Lumber futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange closed lower on Tuesday, with end-of-the-year selling providing the primary pressure, traders said.

* The January contract's close at $204.80 per thousand board feet was its lowest close since Oct. 29.

* Cash markets have been fairly quiet during the holidays, depriving the futures of outside guidance.

* Some traders on Tuesday appeared to have sold to close out accounts for year-end bookkeeping.

* Cash lumber was quoted $2 lower last week by Random Lengths at $210 per thousand board feet and traders this week said cash may have traded from $204 to $210.

* Futures have been under pressure due to the recent weakness in cash and to expectations that homebuilding, the largest user of lumber, will take time to improve.

* January lumber 2LBF0 closed down $4.80 at $204.80 per thousand board feet and March 2LBH0 down $3.10 at $233.50.

* This will be another holiday-shortened week, with the markets closed on Friday for New Year's Day. (Reporting by Bob Burgdorfer; Editing by Walter Bagley)