You're probably hoping for an explanation that probably exists and that someone probably knows. (Not me.) Sometimes the majority of market gains occur over the course of a few days out of the year. And for the benefit of newbies and lurkers on this site, I'll also say the following:
I don't know why they're doing poorly in 2013. Shoot, I don't know why they've done poorly (or well) in any given year. I merely expect
that they will do very poorly and very well (and sometimes in-between) from year to year. Here's a link to see what I mean.Callan Periodic Table of Investment Returns
Part of the benefit of investing in emerging markets stocks comes not only from holding on, despite years of terrible-to-mediocre performance (higher returns and higher risk go hand in hand), but from continuing to purchase and rebalance into EM when
they are doing lousy.