The main purpose of this study is to provide an overview of the export growth trends in the Hungarian agri-food sector over the last decade and to identify the obstacles hindering the sector’s development. We used constant market share analysis to break down into components the changes in export growth. Almost without exception, the increasing market size accounted for most of the export growth to 14 countries. The commodity (market composition) and competitiveness effects produced varied results and were not so positive. This shows that the Hungarian export structure was less adaptive to changes in demand in the target export markets. There were positive examples however, such as Italy and Slovakia, where the competitiveness effect explained 82 and 64 per cent respectively of the Hungarian export growth. In Romania almost one third of the total Hungarian agri-food export growth was explained by the improved competitiveness. The negative examples are numerous; the most important is the trade relations with Poland where the competitiveness effect almost halved the measured export growth potential. By analysing the price and quality competitiveness of the cereal and oilseed commodities with unit value calculations we could show that the market position of these relatively lower-priced products could be improved.