During the 2003/04 season, a study was launched with the aim of formulating appropriate maturity cut-off points for South African export litchi fruit. The results revealed that in the Nelspruit area, sulphur fumigated fruit must not be exported after the 30: 1 (TSS:TA) point is reached. During the 2004/05 season, the trials were continued in the important Onderberg production region. The results indicated that, in this region, it is possible to export the fruit up to the 40: 1 stage. After this, fungal infections became a serious problem. During each experiment, slow release SO2 sheets were placed in three positions in the boxes (in the bottom, on top of the fruit and both sides). A sheet on the bottom of the box was found to considerably improve the storage potential of the fruit. In contrast with the Nelspruit area, sulphur residues did not become a problem towards the end of the harvest window.