Oil prices have dropped due to signs that shale drillers in the US have adjusted because of lower fuel rates and renewed indications of Asian economic weaknesses. 

Brent crude was down 38 cents and traded at $46.38 per barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 46 cents at $44.95 a barrel, Reuters reported.

The official selling price of Iran’s light grade for Asia has been set by the country at $0.45 above the Oman/Dubai average for next month, which represents a fall of 40 cents in the month.

"It was rather natural that we would see a slowdown sooner than later."

The country has also regained 80% of the market share it held before the US and European Union sanctions in 2012.

According to traders, oil prices were low as refiners in Asia started reducing crude orders.

Banchero Costa research head Ralph Leszczynski told the news agency: "Crude imports to Asia over the last few months are falling… (but) volumes were so high over the last year thanks to the rush to take advantage of the low oil prices, that it was rather natural that we would see a slowdown sooner than later."

Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said as oil markets were becoming balanced prices were stabilising.

Government data revealed that core machinery orders in Japan fell 1.4% in May from the previous month, down for a second straight month.