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How is this possible?

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I know airfares are difficult to explain but perhaps someone can offer an explanation to the following:
Multi city trip with three day layover in London going to South Africa (Johannesburg) for travel late June/early July 2018

LAX to LHR, three nights three nights in London, LHR to JNB, JNB to LAX - Virgin airfare is about $1300

JFK to LHR, three nights in London, LHR to JNB, JNB to JFK - Virgin airfare is about $1,700

How can the shorter flights from/to JFK cost $400 more than the longer flights from/to LAX???

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