SHANGHAI, July 18 (SMM) - The total zinc ingot social inventory across seven major markets in China stood at 153,700 mt as of July 18, down 400 mt from July 15 and 3,400 mt from July 11. The domestic inventory fell sharply. In Shanghai, the transactions remained sluggish despite of the falling zinc prices. The downstream purchase interests were poor due to expanding backwardation between SHFE front-month and next-month contracts and rising spot premiums, hence the inventory dropped only slightly over the weekend. In Guangdong, the demand from the downstream enterprises grew weaker. Therefore, the inventories continued to increase with relatively stable arrivals of goods. In Tianjin, goods holders were firm to support the price with low arrivals, resulting in a tug-of-war between the supply and demand side. Meanwhile, the willingness to purchase weakened despite of falling zinc prices, so the stocks in Tianjin market rose slightly. Overall, inventories in Shanghai, Guangdong and Tianjin fell 1,200 mt, and inventories across seven major markets decreased 400 mt over the weekend.